Corporate Relocation News
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Oct 19, 2015 marked an era of change for Canada—a change to a Liberal majority government. What does that mean for the commercial real estate industry over the next four years?
Well, while the Liberal government is not planning to directly invest in the commercial real estate industry at this time, some of their mandates, if fulfilled, could have a significant impact on the industry.
For example, one of the main mandates of our new Liberal majority government is to largely invest into each province’s transportation infrastructure. This means improving and adding public transit options as well as improving local roadways and highways. For commercial real estate owners, improvements in transportation around their properties could improve the marketability of the office spaces available for lease. Commercial real estate owners would not be forced to lower their lease rates to attract potential leasers. Instead they would just remarket their available office space as “accessible to” multiple forms of transit. If successful, this could potentially lower the percentage of office vacancies, at least within Ontario.
Another Liberal government mandate is to significantly invest in Canada’s social infrastructure, that is, to improve where people live and increase their options/locations for child care. For commercial real estate owners, there is an opportunity to further improve the marketability of their lease properties by adding their properties on the list as potential hot spots in which daycare centres could be built, thereby getting in on the $6+ million that the liberal government plans to invest in this area.
Finally, the Liberal government wants to invest in renewable energy. This could be significant in causing new renewable energy companies to be formed or existing ones to expand into and throughout Canada. For commercial real estate owners, this could mean more potential leasers for their properties.
“Every dollar we spend on public infrastructure grows our economy, creates jobs, and strengthens our cities and towns… Government has a responsibility to act decisively and for the public good. Canada’s economic growth was made possible by building ambitiously. We must do so again if we are to transform our transit and transportation systems, create more liveable communities, and ensure that we adapt to a changing climate.”
Only time will tell what the true effect the Liberal government will have on the commercial real estate industry.
DJ McGauley and Associates Inc. is your Space Planning, Renovation and Facilities Management company of choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If an office move or reconstruction of your 2,000 – 25,000 sq.ft. office space is in your plans, contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. Our friendly experienced team will work seamlessly with your staff to guide you through the process, allowing your employees to enjoy a productive, stress-free experience.
August 27, 2015, Liberal Party of Canada, “Trudeau commits to largest infrastructure investment in Canadian history”, https://www.liberal.ca/trudeau-commits-to-largest-infrastructure-investment-in-canadian-history/
Liberal Party of Canada, “Real Change: An Historic Investment Plan to Strengthen the Middle Class, Create Jobs and Grow Our Economy”, https://www.liberal.ca/files/2015/08/An-historic-investment-plan.pdf
As many companies try to balance the costs of their corporate relocation, office design often takes a back seat to other priorities and a strict budget. At D.J. McGauley & Associates, we understand that the expenses of a corporate relocation can easily balloon up to disproportionate heights, so we make it a point to give fair prices and helpful budget breakdowns without sacrificing the quality and efficiency of your move or your newly designed office space.
In our years of experience, we have nailed down the best and ways to make your office space design both modern and practical. Here are just a few tips and tricks:
Go for bold accents. Offices with neutral colors are a thing of the past. Choose office furniture and even office supplies in bold colors, with the psychology of color in mind. Purple means success, green represents renewal, yellow signifies warmth, and so on. Why settle for drab and boring when you can go for exciting color accents that make your office stand out?
Go clean and professional. If bold colors do not suit your corporate image, you will likely choose to stick to monochrome. This can be accomplished without inducing a sterile or boring “feel” simply by choosing paint and purchasing office furniture from gradients within the same color block—from walls to computers to chairs. For example, a neutral grey selection – from charcoal to a light grey with a slight tinge of blue. Then add accent pieces in black or white. This scheme will make your office look clean and high-profile without any dullness.
Decorate the office. It doesn’t have to be all work, now does it? Skip the overdone inspirational posters and instead display some great art work in the office, and you’d get some heads nodding in approval. Keep in mind that fewer large pieces almost always make a bigger visual impact than many smaller pieces placed on every available wall surface.
Is most of your business local? Make sure to do some research to find a new and upcoming local artist.
Go for partitions that free up space. There are many partitions of different styles that will give the impression that there’s bigger space in the office than there actually is, without sacrificing privacy. Luckily for you, we have the ability to secure office partitions, office equipment and systems furniture to fit virtually any budget!
Late in February, Yahoo! HR Head Jackie Reses sent out a memo to all staff, saying that employees are no longer allowed to work from home. The memo states that being one Yahoo! “starts with physically being together”. The new stance raised more than a few eyebrows, and many companies could not help but reflect on their own policies on telecommuting.
Corporations who are undergoing an office relocation often have to choose between telecommuting or setting up a temporary location. Temporary office locations mean added expenses that may take away from the relocation budget. They may also cause more stress and disruption for employees. Telecommunication, however, is often a worrisome solution for employers, as they worry that productivity and communication channels will be compromised if employees telecommute during corporate relocation process.
When the Best Ideas Happen
The reason for Yahoo!’s telecommuting ban is cited in the same Jackie Reses’ memo: “Some of the best decisions and insights come from the hallway and cafeteria discussions meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings.”
There may be a grain of truth to this—but is it really necessary to impose a blanket restriction on telecommuting? After all, not everyone’s job description requires creative thinking. Many companies hire employees to perform largely routine, administrative, or operational tasks. For these tasks, the above reasoning does not apply. In fact, it might even be more reasonable to let them work from home when circumstances require it—during an office relocation—as long as there are target goals that they must accomplish for the day.
When Employees Are More Productive
Granted that one’s home contains distractions, from the lure of the television to the comfy bed, that can easily hamper the productivity of anyone working at home. However, a report from Brad Harrington of Boston College Center for Work & Family suggests that the potential for distractions does not necessarily outweigh the benefits for both employees and employers. According to the research, telecommuting results in less stress and more productivity. Working from home allows employees to achieve optimum balance between personal life and work, which may result in higher output.
What it all comes right down to is that telecommuting has its perks, but it also has its clear disadvantages. For companies undergoing a corporate relocation, they might not have a choice but to let their employees work from home. This doesn’t have to worry management as long as there are clear target goals and deliverables. The progress of your organization should move along just fine.
Find the above and more Dilbert telecommuting cartoons here.
A recent study by Colliers International states that Downtown Toronto has never had a lower vacancy rate. Right now, Downtown has a 5.1% vacancy rate—its lowest since 2001’s 4.0%.
In the office market, Toronto currently ranks in seventh place in terms of the lowest vacancy rates in North America. Downtown Toronto is where the economy is booming—and you want your company to benefit from the economic boom when all of it happens.
In fact, around eight office development projects are currently under construction in Downtown Toronto with a total of five million square feet for office occupancy. Most of this has already been pre-released. This is evidence that Downtown Toronto is, indeed, becoming the top choice of companies to relocate and move into. There are also fifteen more project development sites that will be available for pre-lease.
Downtown Toronto is home to more than 10,000 professionals. This is where you can look for a talented and competitive workforce to achieve your organizational goals. With the major draw of accessible public transit, the younger generation is indeed being drawn to move to Downtown. Even the big companies—Google and TELUS—have moved into Toronto’s core, realizing the talent pool welling in the area.
If you’re a retail company, there’s all the more reason for you to move downtown. With the spending power of younger professional Canadians, you will make your business available to a wider market segment.
Moving into a new office space, in an entirely new part of the city or country will be complicated. From the complex legal work to the renovation of the space you will be moving into, there are several issues you will have to face for a smooth transition to your new space. Although the steps involved may seem overwhelming at first, this should not stop you from expanding the potential of your business. Instead, contact a Toronto based corporate relocation and space design consultant. Your consultant will help create and navigate all of the necessary steps of your seamless relocation project plan.
DJ McGauley & Associates is a trusted name in the industry. Our experience and expertise in relocation and renovation is bested by none. After all, don’t you want the best relocation specialist as you plan to move to the best area for your business?
Last week we began the discussion of renovation vs. relocation during the corporate expansion process. There are several questions that need to be asked and subsequently answered before deciding whether to relocate to a new office or to renovate your current workspace. To simplify the decision-making process, D.J. McGauley & Associates has prepared a checklist of questions that you should consider. The list continues below…
4. How will the expansion affect your bottom line?
Whether you relocate or renovate, you should first calculate the monthly costs it will entail. Will relocating increase your basic costs? Will renovating be more costly for your business in the long run, in terms of maintenance, because of the increase in lease?
Carefully evaluate which of the two options will increase the efficiency of the employees, offer better access to workers, and improve the visibility of your business among several other factors. It all boils down to how it will affect your bottom line, given the interplay of expenses and projected earnings.
5. Do you want to tweak or complete re-brand your company image?
The avenue of corporate expansion you choose will ideally affect your customers and clients as much as it will affect your employees. Many businesses have strategically chosen corporate relocation to jump start their company’s image. This relocation is just one of the many changes they undertook—along with offering new products and services, changing their vision, and sometimes, even changing their names! If you want a fresh start in the truest sense, then a corporate relocation may be exactly what you need.
On the other hand, some companies are reluctant to take such a measure but at the same time express a desire to contemporize their workplace and improve its layout, energy efficiency, and technology. This is where renovation is a more viable option.
6. Do you want no disruption to your operations?
Whether you choose renovation or relocation for your corporate expansion, you can’t lose sight of your business goals—the achievement of which is the entire reason why you’re expanding in the first place. For this reason, you need a corporate relocation and renovations specialist that will ensure that the expansion will go smoothly and will take into account the achievement of all your organizational goals. D.J. McGaulay & Associates will do this, and more; it will also help you understand your new facilities better and provide the assistance needed for post-relocation or renovation.
As companies become more dynamic and globalized, corporate expansion is inevitable. Corporate expansion usually involves either the renovation of the workplace or relocation to an entirely new facility. Both corporate relocation and corporate renovation can not only allow a company to meet the growing demands of the business, it can also encourage the workforce to move forward and achieve their goals in a better, more suitable environment.
At D.J. McGauley & Associates, we are often asked by our transitional clients to offer advice on whether it is time to renovate existing office space or relocate to a larger corporate facility. While the choice is ultimately yours, and each situation is unique, it is important to look at both sides of the coin before making such an important and game changing decision. This is why, over the next two weeks, we will be looking at factors that might help you decide whether it is time to renovate or relocate your office space.
1. Are you planning to have an expanded workforce?
If you’re planning to expand and hire a number of employees and the floor area of your current workplace cannot possibly accommodate your target number of employees, then it’s time to relocate. Otherwise, your expanded workforce will have to cram themselves in a tight office space and your business will suffer from decreased productivity. It is also imperative to find the perfect potential new space that fits your budget and at the same time will allow all your employees to comfortably work in their own spaces.
2. Do you want to improve your operations and systems?
The workplace environment is a major factor in employee motivation. If your current workplace is shabby, poorly lit, and/or made of subpar materials, what you likely need is a redesign of your office space—in which case you might want to go for a renovation.
A renovation is also in order if you want to upgrade your furniture and appliances, as well as the systems and technology required to perform employee tasks. It is important to set clear goals and outlines in order to integrate new equipment and systems into your current office structure seamlessly and with as little downtime as possible.
3. Is location a primary consideration?
For one reason or another, you may not be satisfied with the current location of your office. Maybe it’s because the location is not accessible to your target market, clients or expanding workforce. Perhaps it’s not near to your suppliers. Another reason most businesses cite is that they simply want to be in the central business district. For example, if you started your business in a small plaza on the outskirts of Toronto but you’ve always dreamed about relocating to that downtown Bay Street location, it might be time to realize your dream instead of putting your money into a renovation. In other words, if location is a primary factor in your corporate expansion, then corporate relocation should be your choice.
Still haven’t made up your mind? Tune in next week while we continue this discussion with a few more important points to consider.