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Office Etiquette


office etiquetteDespite all the drawbacks, more businesses are migrating to an open office concept. As a result, noise levels are quickly rising in the workplace – and so are the distractions for workers who are expected to perform. Talkative coworkers, annoying habits and endless interruptions are leading to more stress and less productivity in the workplace. Workers are struggling to adapt to this new environment.

“Most offenses happen because the other person doesn’t realize it,” says etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, founder of The Protocol School of Texas. 

Here are three tips for surviving in an open office:

Communicate: If you are working on an impending deadline, let your colleagues know you need to focus on your project for the good of the business. Be clear and direct.

Infuse some humor: Keep your tone light when asking coworkers to keep it down.  You will avoid looking like a disgruntled employee.

Bring your own buds: Noise cancelling headsets have surged in popularity as workers trying to navigate open offices.

If you really need a break, try reserving a conference room where you can hunker down and get some work done. 

Working in an open office environment?  Like it? Hate it? Let us know.

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Work-Life Balance Debate


Blog post balanceThe debate on the realization of work-life balance has leaped to the forefront of American consciousness again.  Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi drew attention to the topic earlier this month in an interview in which she candidly proclaimed, “If you ask our daughters, I’m not sure they will say that I’ve been a good mom.”

Achieving work-life balance seems to be an uphill and ongoing battle for working professionals – even for those with the most meticulous of plans.

Mobile technology has become both a blessing and a curse. One on hand, it allows us to work from a myriad of locations - no one is tethered to a single desk anymore. On the other hand, it’s nearly impossible to disconnect from work when your smartphone and tablet are within arm’s reach.

Luckily, flexible work practices are helping foster more balance in the workplace.  Remote working, telecommuting and shorter commutes are possible because of a shift in work habits and a widening acceptance of remote workers.  Shared space providers are at the forefront of this movement and making work-life balance a real possibility for today’s workers. 

As the flexible work movement progresses, it will be in the best interest of employers to offer more work options for employees. 


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Good News for NY Lawyers


describe the imageA new opinion just came down from the New York City bar’s ethic committee stating New York lawyers may use the street address of a “virtual law office” as their primary business location even if they work from another location. The committee advised, “It’s not inherently misleading for lawyers to display this street address on their law firm website, business card and letterhead.”

The opinion also stated, “We should not create obstacles to the use of VLOs as long as the interests of clients, the courts and the legal system are protected.”

With technology supporting the work anywhere movement and the growing acceptance of mobile working, the need for a traditional office continues to dwindle. Solo legal practitioners who want to make the right impression with clients but do not want to incur the overhead expenses of traditional space will benefit from this ruling.

A virtual office provides businesses of any size and any industry with all of the physical assets of an office without having to commit to a long-term lease or a large amount of space that would typically go unused for an extended period of time.

This new opinion reflects the shift in how people are working today. 

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Chicago Office Market Update


Chicago June 2014The Chicago office market rebound is causing a bump in rents for Class A space making it financially challenging for companies looking to operate in the city. In growing numbers, companies are turning to shared space providers who can offer top-tier addresses at affordable rates.  

No set term limits, the freedom to scale up or down at prestigious addresses and access to conference rooms on-demand, shared office space shields companies from rising overhead expenses. A trend that is fueling the industry's growth is the fact that more individuals can now make their own decisions as to where they work. Companies looking to shrink their real estate portfolios are allowing staff to work from a range of locations – home, office and alternate sites. 

Businesses don’t have to get priced out of Chicago’s most coveted addresses – despite the fact that rents for tenants in Chicago’s high-end buildings rose close to 11 percent when compared to 2012 rents.

“Landlord agents feel there is some wind at our backs, but it's not a landlord's market yet,” said Jack McKinney Jr., a senior vice president at Chicago-based leasing brokerage J.F. McKinney & Associates Ltd. “Things will continue in the landlords' favor for the rest of this year and into 2015. As new product is delivered in 2016 and 2017, it could cool off,” he added.

With offices in New York and Chicago, OfficeLinks makes it possible for businesses of any size to have a presence in two of the most influential and costliest markets in the world. 

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Jump In, Get Started


starting a business June 2014We work with an eclectic mix of businesses, which are at different stages of development. Businesses that have passed the crucial three-to-five-years in business phase are now working with us to add space as their headcount grows and their needs change.

We also support the one-to-two-person shop who are in the initial stages of growth and are looking for cost-effective ways to launch. Starting a business takes a leap of faith, a tolerance for risk and a great idea. While you can always list the reasons not to take the plunge now could be the perfect time to start a new venture. Here’s why: 

You don’t need a lot of cash:  Shared space providers offer cost-effective options enabling you to have an immediate presence without breaking the bank. Virtual offices are a perfect way to have a business presence without a physical office. If you need a full-time office shared space providers allow companies to take as much or as little space as you need.

You can easily build a network: Surround yourself with like-minded professionals. Shared workspaces are full of entrepreneurs, creatives, accountants and lawyers. Striking up a conversation with any of these professionals can lead to new partnerships, new business and new revenue channels. 

You can access support:  Leverage the administrative staff based in your facility. The staff can serve as an extension of your team and help you run your business more efficiently.

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Scaling your Business Needs


nyc june officeVacancy rates for top-shelf office space in Manhattan is tightening up once again. The month of May proved to be a strong month for absorption, with the availability rate for prime NYC locations down to under 11%. And, with rising demand, businesses searching for space will encounter rising rents. So what’s the best way to scale your business in New York?

Adding additional square footage and locking-in to a long-term lease is one way to slow down the forward progress of any business looking to grow. Scaling up and down as your business needs change is a safe way to sustainable growth. Shared space providers make it very easy to do this in New York.

Among the reasons why:

Securing space is easy: You can ramp up quickly in the same location you are currently in. No need to move or fit out new space. Work with your provider to add-on to your existing package.

It’s affordable: Invest your money in growing the business instead of your office space. Continue to leverage the assets that are available in the space on a pay-as-you-go model.   

You can maintain the right image: Stay at your top-tier business address. You don’t have to sacrifice more space for a less desirable address.


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3 Things to Know about Virtual Offices


describe the imageVirtual offices are a great resource but do require additional explaining for individuals and businesses not familiar with the service. It’s a cost-effective option for a business that is not ready for a full-time office. Simply put, a virtual office customer has all the physical assets of an office available to them for a fraction of the price. Here’s how:

It’s more than an address

For individuals who spend more time working from home or on on-site at a client’s location, a full-time office isn’t the best solution. A virtual office allows you to take your home address (or P.O. Box) off your business card and use a top-tier, professional address for your company. This gives a business of any size instant credibility with customers and future employees. Phone answering, a dedicated business telephone number and mail handling are services a shared space provider can offer as part of the VO package.


You can be working anywhere in the world, but your business will still have a home base. A virtual office requires minimal capital and no long-term commitment. It’s also a risk-free way of testing a new market.

Offices and meeting rooms available

Virtual office customers also have access to offices and meeting rooms, on-demand. For times when client meetings or presentations are required, virtual office customers can book an office or meeting room through their shared space provider. This pay-as-you-go feature allows businesses to easily control costs.


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The Flex Factor


flexibility may 2014It’s one of the biggest benefits our industry provides to our customers and their employees – flexibility. Study after study shows how small businesses are scoring big returns by taking off the workplace shackles and giving their employees more autonomy and freedom.

Even in this sluggish job market, attracting and retaining top talent is a challenge – especially for small businesses. Cornell University tracked 320 small businesses and the data revealed a direct correlation between business success and staff flexibility. A company experienced faster growth when flexible policies were in place. Companies also had a lower turnover rate than businesses with more stringent policies. 

We came across an infographic that sums up all the benefits of a flexible workplace. It tells the story of how technology and a fresh approach to work where employees are measured by results rather than face time is helping businesses thrive.

What is your business doing to harness the power of flexibility? Tell us.

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Cubicle Conundrum


cubicle story May 2014It’s a place most workers dread but are forced to spend the majority of their workday – the office cubicle. Forty million Americans work in a cubicle and 93% said they would prefer any other arrangement. Clearly businesses operating in this work model are out of step with the needs of the modern workforce.

“It symbolizes a workplace that doesn’t really care about you,” said Nikil Saval, author of the new book “Cubed” when describing the mindset of workers who are regulated to a cubicle.

The author also questions the move by many companies to tear down cubicles in lieu of an open plan concept. The feedback from workers about his type of space isn’t any better.  Open office plans contain “noise, distractions and no privacy - less than with a cubicle,” said Saval.

So what’s a worker to do?  Saval recommends workers provide candid feedback to employers about their work arrangements.  In theory that’s great, but realistically not much will come from complaining.

Instead, workers who are lucky enough to be in control of their workspace are choosing to work in alternative locations.  Shared spaces are among the preferred locations for people who have the freedom to select their own environment.

Ever work in a cubicle?  What did you dislike most about the experience? Tell us. 

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Disappearing Data


data backup may 2014With all of the options for securing a company’s data, SMBs are still taking risks. The latest information from Carbonite reveals a lack of urgency when it comes to safeguarding information.

Forty percent of IT professionals questioned in the survey said their small business would close if they lost all of their files permanently. Fifty eight percent said they couldn’t manage any amount of data loss and remain viable.

Data is the fundamental foundation of any business. 

“While [businesses] have a primary purpose of helping customers, they cannot serve their customers without data,” said Carbonite’s Pete Lamson.

So how can small businesses break their bad habits when it comes to backing up data?

First off, incorporate backups into your work routine. Daily or weekly backups are essential.  Loss of data is almost as bad as being impacted by a natural disaster. You need a contingency plan for both your employees and data when disaster strikes.

In addition to providing workspaces, shared space providers offer cloud storage options. If a company doesn’t want to handle the process, outsourcing the service may be the best solution.

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