How the Right Office Can Make Employees More Productive

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A company’s culture shapes the day-to-day operations and impacts the type of people you work alongside. Giving the right impression by providing an inviting office space can enhance a company’s culture and ease stress on the employees. The right office can further motivate employees and impact their performance. Here are some ways an office can be enhanced to make employees more productive:

1. Natural lightingStudies have shown that sunlight exposure is associated with productivity by providing vitamin D and increasing alertness and motivation. Having an office that provides lots of natural light can feel more inviting. Employees often feel more at ease when they can get a break from blue light from computer screens and florescent light bulbs.

2. Comfortable Seating – No one wants to have to work seated on an uncomfortable chair all day. Having the right chair at your desk can help decrease lower back pain and improve blood flow. Providing comfortable chairs for the entire office can actually increase productivity because employees feel that they can comfortably sit at their desks for longer periods of time.

3. Up-to-date Technology – No matter what industry you work in, access to the internet is imperative. A network that responds quickly and reliably keeps the company’s operations flowing. Having a slow internet connection can be both frustrating and inhibiting to creativity. When your tools don’t move as fast as you do, your entire day is stymied.

4. Break room – An inspiring break room can help foster a community that encourages creativity and high energy. A comfortable break room can encourage employees to meet and communicate to share ideas with each other.

Making minor changes in the workplace can have huge impacts on the company as a whole. When employees feel more comfortable, morale can improve as well. If you are looking for an office upgrade, Barrister Executive Suites makes sure each of their offices are fully furnished and ready for your business. Learn more about full-time office space in Southern California.

How a Virtual Office Can Benefit Your Business

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Virtual offices offer startups, entrepreneurs and established professionals the ability to amplify their position in the industry in which they compete. Though there may be a small team behind the work they produce, there is nothing small about their passion to constantly improve. A virtual office can give your business the boost it needs to thrive–for many reasons. Here are a few ways a virtual office can benefit your business:

Eliminate the Commute

The traffic in Southern California can be egregious, putting you in a terrible mood just as the morning begins. Cutting out a commute can give you a longer morning to relax with a cup of coffee, giving you a sunnier disposition to start the day. If a long commute is standing in the way of breaking into a new geographic market, a virtual office enables you to work remotely with a team, right from your home.

Mailing Address Without the Rent

Location, location, location—it’s important even if you’re not there physically. All established businesses have a professional mailing address that’s not in a residential neighborhood. You can improve your business’s reputation with a prestigious mailing address, especially in upscale or trendy neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Pasadena, or Woodland Hills. A huge advantage of a virtual office is that it costs far less than a month’s worth of rent for a similar location. Barrister Executive Suites offers varying levels of features for virtual offices, each with professional mail and package handling so you don’t miss a thing.

Free Your Budget to Expand Your Business

Stop paying exorbitant rent, utility, and office overhead fees that are a drain on your profitability. Managing your team remotely, collaborating using employees’ own company-approved technology, can put thousands of dollars back in your pocket each month. Reallocating your budget to what really matters can grant your employees, your business, and yourself huge benefits.

Professional Receptionist

Having an answering service is one thing, but a professionally trained receptionist warmly greeting clients and associates creates an incredible first impression. The personalized answering service offered by Barrister Executive Suites is one of the features clients enjoy the most, as it gives their business an increased level of professionalism.

If you’d like to learn about more features of Virtual Offices, visit Barrister’s Virtual Office Space.

Ninth Consecutive Year Winning “Best Of” Award

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For the ninth consecutive year, Barrister Executive Suites was awarded The Signal’s “Best Of” Santa Clarita Valley Award for Best Executive Suites & Offices. Readers of The Signal vote on businesses in various categories each year, and Barrister’s Valencia location has consistently been recognized for excellence.

barbidavisThe Santa Clarita Valley area Suite Manager, Barbi Davis, was spotlighted in The Signal for her efforts in helping businesses with turnkey office space that is customized to fit a wide variety of business models. Barbi and her team work diligently to provide superior executive suite solutions to businesses, which is evident in the many awards they’ve collected over the years. Barbi has worked at Barrister for 25 years, and her dedication to the mission of Barrister is apparent in how she is constantly working to deliver the best experience for tenants in Valencia.

Barrister’s Valencia office location was established in 2004, and has quickly become one of Barrister’s shining stars. Located in the  Valencia Gateway Office Park, the Summit at Valencia has convenient access to I-5 Freeway and Highway 126, just 10 minutes north of the San Fernando Valley and 30 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles. Tenants enjoy close proximity to Championship Golf Courses, Newhall Ranch and Valencia Town Center. These inspiring offices have lots of natural light, high ceilings, and come equipped with all of the amenities needed to run a business efficiently.

The onsite staff is friendly and professional, we’re proud to receive so many compliments on our amazing Team. Clients also enjoy all of the included amenities such as conference rooms, employee lounge/break room, telephone & internet service, and free parking. This location also has a relaxing outdoor courtyard with ample seating and water feature, which is very popular with Tenants. It’s a relaxing place to enjoy your lunch, or host a business networking mixer.

Learn more about this executive suite and other suites located throughout southern California on our executive office suite locations page.

 

Work/Life Balance Goals

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How are your 2018 New Year’s resolutions going? If you’re a type-A workaholic, you probably smashed your work-related goals back in February. For others, life might have gotten in the way of your resolutions and they may have faded into the background–and that’s okay, life happens. The new year can usher in a fresh start to meeting your goals in both your personal and professional life. It’s all about balance, though it can be easier said than done. If you have started losing track of your New Year’s resolutions, here’s how to get those work/life balance resolutions back on track.

Take Time to Get Organized

Organization probably doesn’t make it into your checklist, rather it’s something of a necessary evil as your desktop and email clutter beyond the point of what you can handle. In the beginning of a new week, schedule just five to ten minutes per day before or after your workday to straighten things out, file things away, and get yourself ready for the next task at hand. Writing this step down on a checklist makes you more likely to complete it, and it can help you maintain a more efficient workday. Imagine how great it’ll feel to go into a new day with email folders and a clear desktop that will help keep track of obligations! This can also limit those nights spent burning the midnight oil on last-minute work instead of spending time with loved ones.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Have you ever spent time with your family without really being present? Sifting through emails and stressing about deadlines instead of appreciating the company of those right in front of you? It’s common to do that from time to time, always being near a smartphone. To truly disconnect from technology out of work hours, begin practicing mindfulness. Not a pro at meditation yet? Start by focusing on your breath, and begin noticing what each of your senses are feeling. Beginning the day with meditation, whether it’s a workday or a weekend, can help reduce stress over time. Apps that track and guide meditation can help motivate you to continue this practice.

Shift Your Thinking About “Yes” and “No”

How often do you find yourself saying that you can complete a project, no matter the deadline? Saying that you’ll take care of something, when your planner is already bursting at the seams? Compare that to how you approach questions asked of you at home, by your children or spouse. For many, saying “no” to family is somehow easier–no to your six-year-old insisting to wear her Halloween costume to school in March, no to a last-minute dinner with friends–do these responses really improve your quality of life? Reevaluating what you say “yes” to at work and “no” to at home is a great way to shift your perspective and determine what really matters. Work assignments can always be delegated or reprioritized, and really, what’s the harm in letting little Sally wear fairy wings to school?

How the Shared Economy is Impacting Corporate America

Sherman Oaks Comerica Bank Building on Ventura Blvd

Americans today are experiencing an unprecedented level of convenience at their fingertips. Getting a ride, a place to crash for the night, or even a handyman to hang a picture frame is easier than ever, thanks to innovative apps and websites. The expectation of convenience and flexibility attributed with Uber, AirBnb and other offshoots of the shared economy has impacted our society as a whole.

Undoubtedly influenced by the fact that the vast majority of Americans have a pocket-sized computer nearby at all times, it’s undeniable that a paradigm shift has occurred in the way we seek out services—the shared economy has seeped into many moments in our lives, and impacted business-as-usual.

As the modern workplace evolves from the rows of gray cubicles commonplace throughout the twentieth century, executives have needed to adapt to the expectations of prospective employees. A flexible, creative, and conveniently located office environment has become an increasingly important benefit to qualified applicants. This is essentially what spurred the rapid growth of coworking and shared office spaces.

Corporations large and small have started relocating their workforce to shared office spaces, responding to a shift in employee expectations and taking advantage of all the benefits these coworking sites have to offer. Here are just a few reasons corporations are offering employees access to shared office spaces, changing how corporate America goes to work:

Tenant Community

Working alongside individuals from different industries in common areas, or just passing them in the hall creates opportunity for networking and fosters a sense of community. Employees benefit from a more dynamic environment where they can move around and meet new people as they please.

Commute Time

A shorter commute is an attractive benefit corporations can offer employees with a regional shared office space. Throughout Southern California, traffic jams are responsible for thousands of professionals arriving late for work. Starting the day stuck in traffic can really impact the morale in a workplace; a shorter commute can often translate into a happier morning at the office.

Arriving to work at a shared office space via a ride-share app was something completely unheard of a decade ago—now, it is just another day in the convenient world of the shared economy. Adapting to this change in employee expectations has been key for corporations attracting a wide variety of qualified individuals.

Explore the amenities included in coworking spaces in Southern California with Barrister Executive Suites.

What is LEED Certification?

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LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to rate and evaluate the environmental sustainability and performance of a building. A building earns credits by using environmentally friendly materials in construction, taking into account long-term sustainability through water conservation, efficient energy usage and more.

The goal is to offer a framework to encourage efficient resource usage and ensure a building has environmentally conscious elements.

Barrister Executive Suites is dedicated to supporting efforts to encourage environmental responsibility, which is why the majority of our office locations throughout Southern California are LEED Certified. Examples of Barrister LEED Certified buildings include:

Pasadena Office Suite: Corporate Center Pasadena, LEED Gold Certified (Pictured)

Marina Del Rey Office Suite: Marina Towers, LEED Silver Certified

San Diego Office Suite: Downtown San Diego in Procopio Tower, LEED Gold Certified

San Diego Mission Valley Office Suite: Hazard Center, LEED Gold Certified

Torrance Office Suite: Pacific Center, LEED Certified

In order to provide varying degrees of dedication to environmental sustainability, there are four different levels, which are designated by a points system:

  • Certified: 40-49 points earned
  • Silver: 50-59 points earned
  • Gold: 60-79 points earned
  • Platinum: 80+ points earned

Each point corresponds to a way in which the building is environmentally friendly, which can be anything from energy efficient lighting to reduced water usage.

To find out more information on LEED certification, visit new.usgbc.org/leed.

October Employee Spotlight: Jacqui Jansen

Jacqui-JansenCaregivers play a very important role in the lives of any cancer patient.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we wanted to give a special shout out to one of our Teammates for her amazing volunteer work in helping the patients and family members in their fights against breast cancer.

Assistant Vice President, Jacqui Jansen, has been with Barrister Executive Suites, Inc. for 25 years. What many people don’t know is that she has been a dedicated volunteer helping people find hope in their own struggles with breast cancer. For years, Jacqui has participated in Revlon’s Walk/Run for breast cancer, even being a Team Captain in 2010. Every Tuesday night, for the past 8 years, Jacqui can be found volunteering at the oncology center at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. She felt a strong need to find a way to give back to her community, and make a difference in the lives of people who needed it most. Which is how she found herself in the oncology center.

At the time, the oncology department of St. John’s didn’t have as many volunteers because of how difficult it was emotionally, so Jacqui went where she was needed most. Getting to provide the patients and their families with support and comfort during such an emotional time is one of the most rewarding aspects of her life, and something that is very dear to her heart. Along with her weekly visits to the oncology department, Jacqui was a caregiver to a close friend of hers who was suffering from her own battle with cancer. She was by her friend’s side at every chemotherapy treatment, and opened up her home to her to ensure she received the best round the clock care Jacqui could provide. She held her hand through every step of the way to recovery. To Jacqui, there is nothing better than giving back and putting a smile on someone’s face, and being able to shine a light during such a dark time.

For more information on breast cancer awareness, or if you would like to donate/volunteer, please go to http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month.

 

 

 

Free Online Tools for a More Efficient Workday

More Efficient Workday

If you find yourself wasting time–or notice an employee is wasting time, there are so many online tools that are great for improving efficiency. Your competitors might already be using them, so make a change today in how your team uses their 40 hours.

 

Time Trackers
Being aware of where you spend your time is the first step in diagnosing where your time is wasted. The website Toggl is a quick and simple tool that helps you track your time and sends you weekly reports automatically. Simply create a free account and start tracking those projects! Toggl also offers other timer services that can be used in meetings to help you stay on schedule.

 

Password Sharing Extensions
Cyber security is a huge concern for businesses of all sizes, so it’s important to have secure passwords. Sharing on email can leave you or your clients vulnerable to hacking, and writing them down on paper is both time consuming and unsafe. The browser extension LastPass can help solve this problem. Passwords are saved right to your computer under one login. While this extension is completely free, if you need to share passwords with other team members, you can look into their paid version as well.

 

Communication Platforms
To cut down on the number of emails coming into your inbox, it’s often helpful to have a separate reciprocal for internal conversations. For this, the Google platform is the most efficient way to communicate and share documents. Use the Google Drive interface to organize folders on the cloud that can be shared quickly with team members. Notify them with the Google chat that’s built into Gmail, it’s free and highly efficient.

 

Feedback Software
An often overlooked part of running a business is implementing constructive criticism from employees. It can be daunting for employees to give feedback to their managers, but all good managers know it’s a vital part of making a more inclusive and efficient workplace. Try using the website SurveyMonkey to create a questionnaire that enables team members to offer feedback or complete a self-review. Depending on the type of feedback you seek, you can send out secure, anonymous surveys. The free version enables you to send up to ten questions and view up to 100 responses.

 

Self-Monitoring
Time can be wasted on certain websites if you aren’t always accountable to someone else monitoring your browsing history. So, whether you’re a manager that’s noticed your employees spending too much time on social media or you’re doing it yourself, try using the browser extension StayFocusd. You set which websites you’d like to spend less time on and it’ll block you based on the time of day, day of the week or whatever parameter you set. Encourage employees to do this for themselves if they find they’re becoming unproductive.

How to Make Your Commute More Bearable

Make Your Morning Commute More Bearable

Depending on how you travel to work, the morning commute can either be a relaxing experience or the worst part of your day. Starting with a mindset that it is a high point in your day can be the first step in creating a better commute for yourself.

 

Prep the night before
Your morning routine should really begin the night before. In order to cut down on time spent on your morning routine, do what you can in advance. Pick your outfit, make your lunch, and pack your briefcase. Feeling prepared in the morning rather than stressed can set the tone for the rest of your day. Leaving earlier can help you feel less rushed during your travels.

 

Take a different transportation approach
Once you create the space in your morning for a longer commute, take advantage of it! If you drive to work, see if there are any back roads you can take in place of the high-volume highways that get clogged with traffic during rush hour. Try downloading apps like WAZE that’ll map out alternative routes to take. Also consider alternative public transit options. Barrister Executive Suites has a location in Mission Valley right next to a Trolley stop. Ride sharing like Uber, Lyft and Zipcar are a greener solution to your commute, as well as local bike sharing.

 

Practice Mindfulness
Whether you’re on the train, in the car, or on your bicycle, there are safe ways to meditate. From podcasts to other guided meditation apps, utilize technology to lead you to a tranquil state of mind. Get in the habit of being observant of your surroundings and try to see the beauty in changing seasons or landscapes you pass on your route. If your route isn’t quite scenic, try out an audiobook or app to learn a new language. Time spent driving can still be productive!

 

Wear Comfortable Shoes
Both women and men can experience discomfort associated with their office’s dress code. However, there’s no reason to subject yourself to comfortable footwear while you’re commuting. By simply leaving a pair or two of shoes in a box under your desk, you would be surprised at how much your commute will improve. If you walk an extended distance to or from the office from your mode of transportation, this quick fix will have a huge impact on your day.

 

End The Commute Altogether
The workplace is changing today, and some businesses are opting to not even have a physical workplace. If you’re a business leader who doesn’t want to deal with a commute, see how virtual offices can enable you to lower your overhead while continuing your mission. Services offered by Barrister Executive Suites enable businesses to have a prestigious southern California address, have access to a receptionist, and even have their mail handled.

How to Run a Highly Efficient Meeting

Running a Highly Efficient Meeting

Creating a cohesive team dynamic demands face time with the people in your workplace. Daily or weekly meetings with coworkers or employees can cost time and money if they’re used inefficiently. A ten-minute meeting between six employees is the equivalent of an hour of your company’s time–a resource that must be spent consciously.

So, whether you’re a team member or a leader in your company, it’s important to make sure you remain a stakeholder in the efficiency of the meeting. No one wants to have their time wasted discussing line items that are irrelevant to their work agenda. To make sure that your meetings remain productive, even with clients or individuals outside your team, there are good habits you can start getting into today.

  1. Create a physical document outlining the meeting agenda. This is an all-time best practice for business leaders organizing a meeting. If your superior managers aren’t doing it, show initiative and suggest you create one as a meeting facilitator. Staying on-topic is preeminent in getting results out of your meeting. When everyone involved can visually see what needs to be covered, they can get a sense of how much time is left to self-monitor. Disseminating an agenda prior to the meeting enables participants to prepare for the meeting so time isn’t wasted pulling up emails or other documents.
  2. Optimize Meeting Attendants. It’s important to keep in mind whose time is being spent at a meeting. If a team member seems unengaged or quiet during the meeting, it may simply mean that they cannot contribute to what’s being discussed. Review who will be participating in the meeting and follow up with individuals to see if they feel they should be involved. Wasting someone’s time is money wasted for the company. Being on top of this policy makes team members feel like their time is valued.
  3. Create a Timing Procedure. Aside from establishing a start and end time to the meeting, make sure to monitor how much time each person spends contributing to the conversation. It might take some getting used to, but curbing wandering, off topic comments will slowly but surely get the team in a habit of staying focused. While it may feel rude to interject, participants will appreciate the meeting’s brevity. It’s important to stay positive and encourage creative problem solving, while still getting back to the task at hand. Try these phrases to cut down on off-topic conversations:
    • “That’s a great idea, I’ll include it in our meeting minutes and table it for another brainstorming session”
    • “That could work, lets flesh out that idea at another time so we can focus on getting today’s agenda accomplished”
    • “I appreciate your creativity, let’s talk about that privately on a one-on-one meeting later this week”
  4. Take Notes & Use Them. Meeting minutes may be difficult to collect at first, but they can be helpful in implementing ideas generated during the meeting. If your team doesn’t have the luxury of having an administrative assistant, an intern or participant could volunteer to do so. Once the meeting is over, send out a memo to all participants as well as stakeholders who should be briefed on meeting outcomes. You’ll begin to see that your meetings will produce more deliverables once you know that there are others waiting to receive documentation on what transpired during the course of the meeting.

 

If you need a professional conference room to hold a meeting with high-profile clients, explore meeting rooms by the hour offered by Barrister Executive Suites in Southern California.