Month: January 2015

Office Furniture Takes On New Heights

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There is no doubt about it. More and more companies are embracing what I call the “modular-employee” office culture, that is, the culture where employees work out of the office for part of their work week and only come back into the office when there is a need to work collaboratively. This culture evolution demands greater flexibility in office furniture.

While modular office furniture provides flexibility in how the units are set up in various types of office spaces, its flexibility ironically seems limited when faced with the “modular-employee” work-style. Hence, office furniture manufacturers have taken a more granular look at how the “modular-employee” works while in the office and have taken office furniture to new heights.

Introducing the adjustable height or sit-stand desk!

sit stand deskAs the name suggests, the sit-stand desk is a desk fitted with hydraulic legs which can be raised when an employee wants to work standing up and lowered when an employee wants to work sitting down. The hydraulics are either electricity-powered or battery-powered. The desk tops themselves range from a simple table top in various geometric shapes to a traditional full-sized desk or workstation.

The sit stand desk is one piece of office furniture that offers many advantages.

  • It is ergonomically friendly. Employees have the option of changing their position while they continue working. This reduces stress on their backs and legs, and promotes healthy blood circulation.
  • It can be sized to fit in any workspace.
  • It can be instantly mobile. Most sit-stand desks have wheels for easy mobility if one needs to move their desk from one location to another within the work day.
  • They can be geometrically designed to fit with other similar desks to create an instant collaborative work area when needed.
  • It can be easily height-adjusted by the push of a button.

Sit-stand desks are just one of the latest and greatest in office furniture offering increased flexibility for your employees.

REIT’s and Real Estate Developers Strategy for 2015

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According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 Report issued this past December, one significant trend we should expect to see in Canada’s real estate markets include increased mixed-use development in the cores of downtown city areas.

Here’s why.

Two-thousand-and-fourteen (2014) saw a steady influx of people moving into cities across Canada in efforts to have easier access to work and play. Realizing this flow, businesses in various industries decided to follow. With all this activity, the demand for commercial and residential real estate in city cores has steadily increased.

Real estate developers and REITS see the demands and are responding. Fuelled by an increase in investment funding from both domestic and foreign investors, developers such as Bentall Kennedy LP, Kingsett Capital and Allied Properties REIT are looking into core areas of robust cities across Canada to acquire properties and turn them into mixed-used developments. This creative solution not only meets commercial and residential real estate demands simultaneously, but also increases the value and attractiveness of the properties to existing and potential tenants.

But not every REIT is following the mixed-use development plan. With a focus on credit quality, True North Commercial REIT, for example, has put its focus on acquiring office buildings housing government and other rated tenants with long term leases and has no intention of adding a residential area to those buildings. Its residential component, True North Apartment REIT, will continue to focus on acquiring apartment housing in both Canada and the United States with the strategy of promoting them as affordable housing options.

The real estate developers following the mixed-use development plan will need to design or redesign their properties to appeal to both the residential tenants looking for convenience in every area of the lifestyle they seek, and the commercial tenants trying to attract them.