Show off Your Company’s Image with Creative Office Space Design

Did you know that there is such a thing as National Cubicle Day? Well, there silly as that may seem. It seems outdated to honor a design style that seems to be falling by the wayside as quickly as fax machines and rotary telephones. But April 28th was the day set aside to celebrate these carpet-covered, creativity-killing barriers. Thankfully, in the last ten years office space design has moved far beyond cubicles. Companies are using their design to show off who they are to customers, employees and visitors. We discussed creating a productive office space a while back, but here we would like to speak to creative office space design that will help project a positive image to your clients, with creativity and flexibility.

A few years ago, tech companies and young startups were the only businesses being found to stray from the typical cubicle office space design. It seemed to make sense that companies trying to revolutionize electronics, computing, and communications would need open, fun designs to foster collaborative work. However, over the last few years the other business sectors saw that these companies were acquiring the best talent and building wonderful client relationships. Much of this success was being attributed to their unique spaces. Now, in 2014, 75% of US offices have open floor plans. (source) It seems that a well-planned, creative office space design helps companies project who they are — and who they want to be – for their customers.

This article in Mashable featured a few companies who have set up their offices to display their collaborative spirit. These companies’ designs range from simplistic to elaborate, but they all share a common goal; to present who they are to all that enter. One company, Quirky, is on the far end of the spectrum. They created a Jetsons-style office setting, which is apparent from the minute a visitor approaches the entrance. They wanted to make sure that customers knew that they valued design above all else. “The design room is the first thing you see when you walk into Quirky, and it’s where all the magic happens. Even if you’re not working in the shop, you’re constantly passing it when getting to and from meetings. It’s where all of the inventors’ ideas become a real physical product.”

Not all office spaces need to be space-aged to show off a great working environment. Simplicity in design can show focus, attention to detail and ease. Since many options exist for modern office space design, it is important to settle in a location that will allow you to create who you are. Your company should feel like a space can become anything, instead of settling for a space in which they cannot envision their success. “We were lucky in that we were starting with a blank slate [the site was previously a textile factory], so we were able to design the perfect space for our needs,” says Natasha Whitledge, facilities manager (CB2). (source)

Once you have settled on a creative office space design that best suits your business, finding a single story flex space may offer you the most options to support your design. This type of space offers high ceilings and is a “blank slate” that can adapt to your vision. You can read more about Single Story Flex space and its benefits here.

Innovation and creativity in office space design are something that we at the Bradley Business Center value. We strive to offer all of our tenants space that will allow them to put their best foot forward to their customers. If you are considering a new office space design, consider a new location, as well. Our center can provide you with the amenities you need, with a prime North Side Chicago location. Contact us right away to get started planning for your new, creative office at the Bradley Business Center.

Creating a Productive Office Space – Using Innovation to Encourage Success

Creating a productive office space that highlights innovation is essential to increasing the happiness of your employees and reducing your bottom line. Designing an office in today’s market that increases productivity takes much more than just picking out ergonomic furniture. A successful business must also consider that they are creating a workplace, not just an office, for their valuable employees. No decision on an office space should be made without first considering your staff’s needs. This human approach to planning will help you recruit and retain talent, and can positively impact your profits.

Develop Your Company’s Workplace Strategy

A workplace strategy must be developed before you set out to find your next location. Workplace strategy is defined as “the dynamic alignment of an organization’s work patterns with the work environment to enable peak performance and reduced cost,” according to the General Services Administration (GSA). With the rise of mobile workforces, flexible workplace strategies are required to accommodate employees. Today’s employees expect offices that include high-tech features with a collaborative spirit. Businesses are embracing a project-based style of work, which demands employee interaction and communication to be successful. Today’s employees that work inside office buildings seek spaces with an abundance of natural light, as it can be conducive to productivity and creativity in their work. This is just one example of how a well-crafted workplace strategy will lead to a much more productive office space.

Innovative Workplace Benefits

The benefits of an innovative workplace will very much outway any costs to expand to a new location. Companies that embrace innovation in their office plan find that they can leverage human capital investments, enhance their portfolio value and support their company’s mission objectives. When you incorporate new innovations, like improved lighting and HVAC systems, into your office space plan you leverage your operating costs. You may experience a significant drop in absenteeism, for example, by upgrading the office space, which means more time that your employees spend producing for the business.

Design with Your Ideal Employee in Mind

With the job market stronger than it has been in many years, companies are now competeing once again for the best and brightest talent. The look and feel of your office space can absolutely impact a candidate’s decision. Offices have to be more than just cubicle walls and breakrooms to encourage productivity and increase retention. According to a recent article from, “what it all comes down to is that a workplace is a part of the human experience, and a nicer office can help you have happier, more productive workers”. If your space offers amenities and services that will help your employees work smarter and live better you are more likely to experience a lower turnover rate. If you are about to start the planning process for a new or renovated office space, your first mission should be to get feedback on what your team does and doesn’t like about their current space. Don’t be afraid of the suggestions that you receive – they will ultimately lead to helping you cultivate more ideal employees. If you are willing to consider what your staff needs to succeed, you may also be able to save on future upgrade costs.

Location, Location, Location

Not every office space will be the suitable to your new, more innovative strategies. Choosing a building that understands how to support a productive environment. The Bradley Business Center offers single story flex and corporate office space that will encourage and enhance your productivity efforts. We just completed installing windows that stretch from 18″ off the ground to the ceiling, throughout all of our office spaces. Our spaces are full of the natural light your staff will be seeking. We aim help you increase productivity with these kinds of building improvements.

The Bradley Business Center can also help you meet your company’s financial goals, as a cost-effective, innovative office space solution. We offer superior amenities, modern technologies and features that are important for maintaining a positive company culture – all located on the north side of Chicago. Commuting to and from the Bradley Center is easy, as we are close to public transportation and the Kennedy expressway. Contact our leasing agent today and take the first step towards a better, more productive office space at the Bradley Business Center.

Turn Forgotten Goals into New Year Opportunities

The new year is here and as a small business owner you already know the value of reflecting back at your successes from the last year. However, make sure you are also considering the goals that you may have not gotten around to starting. Find that list of resolutions from last year, dust it off and see what was not completed. The best laid plans and ideas could have been derailed by unknown factors and the normal course of business. As you look to set your goals for the coming year, find the opportunities on this list that you didn’t complete. Analyze, delegate and create action plans to make the most of these newly energized goals.

While you are celebrating what was hopefully a year full of achievement, it may be easy to lose focus on analyzing what didn’t get accomplished. After all, it is more fun to thank employees and partners, than to push them for the hows and whys of a particular project. Analyzing your goals before you place them back on this year’s new list should consist of starting a SWOT analysis. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis needs to have a purpose, so work through a SWOT for each goal. For example, if your goal was finding a new north side office space you may note items like “allow for expansion”, “better location for networking and meeting clients”, “cost of moving”, etc. as part of your analysis for this goal. Your new list of goals will include items that make sense for your business plan and will help support your vision, as well as offer immediate solutions.

As you work through your list of goals, it will be natural to feel a bit overwhelmed. Identifying how to energize opportunities is a big job so don’t be afraid to involve staff members in on this planning process. They often will have different perspectives and ideas as to why a goal should be handled in certain way. Going back to the goal of finding a new office location, once you speak with your staff and outline your concerns, you may find that they are better equipped to find the best areas to consider and the buildings that offer the best amenities. Delegating is not just for companies with multiple employees, however. Entrepreneurs should work to build a network of contacts they can rely on to help with goals like the example of finding a new north side office space. Ask for referrals to find special locations like shared office space or single story flex space. Just asking for opinions from people you do business with will help take some research off of your plate. And you’ll have the benefit of knowing that your business contacts will like coming to visit your new offices, too. Delegating is a crucial element to the success of your new list of goals and works for any size company.

Now it is time to take action. While analyzing and delegating do not lose sight of the fact that each of these goals will need realistic action plans created. Take the analysis and facts you have gathered and apply them as you write your plans. Tackling a goal like relocating to a new north side office space will require careful planning. According to Entrepreneur, there are five main reasons that companies consider moving. They include work force availability, the desire to reach new markets, growth and expansion, lower costs and increase quality of life. You will need to have an exact course of action after considering these reasons to have the most success meeting this goal. Reasons like these will directly affect your bottom line and help to highlight the importance of considering all factors when working towards reaching any goal.

The new year is a perfect time to take your forgotten goals and turn them into opportunities for 2015. With some analyzing, delegating and planning you can succeed at tasks like finding new north side office space and moving to a location better suited for your company. The Bradley Business Center will help fulfil your reasons for needing new north side office space, such as expansion, personnel resources and a more convenient location. Contact us to learn more and allow us to help you cross one more important goal off of your list. Happy New Year and best wishes for a successful and profitable 2015!

Small Business Solutions

Entrepreneurs are a special type of professional. They are inventive, creative, passionate and driven to succeed. However, when the idea for a small business strikes, it can be easy to get pulled in many different directions. There are a few small business solutions that must be considered for success. It is crucial for an entrepreneur to outline a plan, stay flexible, network with new contacts and present themselves to clients as an established business.

Turn Vision into a Business Plan

There are many factors to consider once a new idea of a business comes to mind. In order to keep these factors organized and prepare for all scenarios, an entrepreneur must create a business plan. In this plan it is important to include what the target market for the business will be, how that market will be reached, what the obstacles are for success and how those obstacles will be overcome.  A good business plan does not need to be a long document. If your idea is focused, a one-page plan will be sufficient to get the business off the ground.

Stay Flexible

Once the plan is established the entrepreneur must be prepared for that plan to change…many times. As research is done and the plan is put into action, an entrepreneur may find that they need to change their idea to capture more of the marketplace. An example of this may be choosing to operate from a home office to save on costs, only to find out that clients want to meet in person to get deals signed. The entrepreneur must then go back to their plan to consider costs for a true office space. Having to adjust the plan is not a sign of failure, but rather is often a sign that the business may be heading in another, more focused direction. Look for solutions that will offer you the greatest amount of flexibility to grow your small business.

Collaborate with Other Businesses

As a new business, establishing a network of referrals and partners will be very important. There are many entrepreneurs operating on their own these days and this means many opportunities to collaborate with someone who needs your services. In turn, these people can refer their clients directly to your business for solutions they can’t provide. Choosing an office or location where one can tap into a pool of other professionals who want to work with your business is one way to quickly build a network. Utilizing shared office space can offer you a chance to meet new contacts who are also looking to collaborate. Working from home will not provide these same chances to connect.

Location, Location, Location

Working for oneself is very exciting and offers a great amount of flexibility. You can choose the hours you work and where you work. Working from a home office can help reduce new business costs, but will not offer a good space to meet with clients. Working from home can also be a distraction and may pull focus away from daily goals. Shared office space offers the perfect solution for an entrepreneur. The amount to lease these spaces is often far less than traditional office space. The amenities can include conference rooms, support services, bundled communication options and much more, helping to improve the bottom line and offering a space to meet clients in a professional setting.

Starting your own small business is an exciting but time consuming practice. We can offer you solutions that will cross some of the most important considerations off of your to-do list. If you are an entrepreneur who is searching for the perfect office space, please consider the Bradley Business Center. We offer perfectly appointed shared offices that will provide opportunities to network, keep your operating costs low and give you an impressive space to meet with your clients. At Bradley, we are dedicated to offering the best services and amenities, in a perfectly situated location on Chicago’s North Side. Contact our sales representative today to learn more and schedule a time to visit us. We look forward to offering you small business solutions that work for you and contribute to your success at the Bradley Business Center.