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The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. Thirty years ago, Harvard University biologist Edward O. Wilson, PhD, proposed the idea that access to the natural environment can positively affect a person’s health. Dozens of studies have followed in the years since, many of which have confirmed the hypothesis and found that people are measurably more relaxed when given access to views of the natural environment. source: www.thefreelibrary.com
The biophelia hypothesis is so widely accepted that many office building developers now consider biophilia in their design and LEED building certification lists it as one of the key factors that motivate employees and increase efficiency.
SOMERSET SQUARE in Saint John, New Brunswick is a LEED Gold certified building.
Steve Jobs knew that innovation and creativity don’t happen in cubes or through email. Seems he was a huge fan of personal interaction and had this in mind when designing the Pixar headquarters in Emeryville, California. Here’s Lasseter (Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer) describing the building…
“In the center, he created this big atrium area, which seems initially like a waste of space. The reason he did it was that everybody goes off and works in their individual areas. People who work on software code are here, people who animate are there, and people who do designs are over there. Steve put the mailboxes, the meetings rooms, the cafeteria, and, most insidiously and brilliantly, the bathrooms in the center—which initially drove us crazy—so that you run into everybody during the course of a day. [Jobs] realized that when people run into each other, when they make eye contact, things happen. So he made it impossible for you not to run into the rest of the company.”
The kind of vibe you feel when you walk into a space directly impacts those working there, sending a stronger message than any “about us” statement ever will.
Regardless of the size of their company, 80% of those surveyed indicate that the physical office space plays a prominent role in fostering vibrant office culture. Providing a natural gathering space for shared lunches, coffee breaks and celebrations brings people together and aids in building relationships. Designing fun spaces for video games or chess allows team members to relate on a more personal level, building trust that will translate into greater collaboration and improved teamwork.
“After years of studying work environments across the country, we’ve found time and time again companies that place value on their physical space and champion employee wellbeing are more likely to have workers who are inspired, engaged, productive and loyal,” said Brian Shapland, General Manager of turnstone. “As our survey shows, entrepreneurs understand the critical role culture plays in their companies – because they know that their people are their greatest asset.” ~ Atlantic Business Interiors
Appnovation announced on Aug 14th, 2014 that they were coming to Saint John and that they would be creating 63 jobs here. They arrived earlier to scout for space for their new Saint John office and what they found was a diamond in the rough on the top floor of 77 Germain Street (many people know this building as 40 King Street – our city’s hub of economic development agencies)
The floor had previously been used to house some large computer equipment and had never been restored to match the lower floors. This “raw” space became vacant and available in 2014 and Appnovation saw the potential.
Stephanie partnered with Justin Omichinski, Avison Young, Vancouver to represent Appnovation in their search and lease negotiations.
BEFORE & AFTER PICS
1 Germain Street (18th floor Brunswick Square), Saint John, N.B.
The 18th floor of Brunswick Square (17,497 square feet), previously occupied by Salesforce, has been sub-leased by Mariner Partners. Mariner continues to occupy space in the Red Rose Tea building (12 Smythe Street) but seized an opportunity to take advantage of the top class finishes and flexible collaborative environment that had been created on the 18th floor of the Brunswick Square office tower. Salesforce continues to occupy the entire 16th floor of Brunswick Square. Stephanie Turner represented Salesforce and Ian McCoy of Re/Max Professional Saint John represented Mariner Partners.
I think everyone will agree that having the “right address” can be an important consideration when choosing a location for your office space. A Bay Street address sends a very different message than an address in a suburban business park. Choosing the right location can be as much an emotional decision and it is a financial one. While researching this question I stumbled on to the article 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing an Office Space.
“Choosing office space can be very challenging because your decision will have so many repercussions for your business. The wrong location, for example, could cost you employees or clients. What’s more, you have to base your choice on your company’s future needs, not just your current situation.~ Lisa Girard, www.entrepeneur.com
Choosing a professional commercial real estate agent that understands the market, will listen and understand your needs and who’s goal is to find you the perfect location is critical to your business.
This question comes up fairly frequently in my business. The big push for leasing is the flexibility which it offers a company. Buying is a long term investment. A company would not likely see any financial savings in the first 10 years and who knows what the company’s needs will look like 10 years from now. Other factors to consider…
Owning your own office space PROS
- Gives you tax deductions (because of property taxes and mortgage interest)
- Gives you the freedom to do what you want with the space. You don’t have to worry about a landlord, or breaking anyone’s rules (except the law, of course).
- You’re responsible for all the costs needed to run an office space, including, but not limited to electricity, water, sewage, trash, janitorial, internet service, phone services and more.
- The upfront costs can also be huge because of the down payment, any renovations that must be done, and other maintenance.
- Once you sign the contract, you own the building “lock, stock and barrel” which means if your company experiences a large growth spurt (or an unfortunate downsizing) you may find yourself with not enough or too much space on your hands.
- Flexibility is a big pro in favour of leasing office space. You can often renegotiate for more space if you grow, or simply move to a new building when your lease is up.
- There’s also a smaller up front cost associated with leasing office space. You sign your lease and you pay a set price per month.
- Leasing can save a lot of time and headaches. By leasing your office space, you can focus on running your business and let the landlord worry about the details of the actual building itself.
- Profile. You may be able to afford to lease in a very high profile area, while buying in such an area may be out of your price range.