The first Monday of August is a civic holiday and observed by most Canadian provinces. Often referred to as the August Long Weekend, in Ontario, this civic holiday is known in many parts as Simcoe Day. This weekend may also be one of the busiest weekends on the Ontario highways as weekend warriors set off camping or to the cottage to enjoy the much anticipated weekend. This year, the civic holiday (Simcoe Day) falls on August 7th, 2017. Although this is a day off for many, it is not a statutory holiday in Ontario.
Provinces that also celebrate the August holiday are:
- Civic Holiday – Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and in parts of Ontario and Nova Scotia
- Heritage Day – Alberta
- Natal Day – Various parts of Nova Scotia
- New Brunswick Day
- Saskatchewan Day
- British Columbia Day
Quebec, Yukon, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador do not observe this holiday.
D. J. McGauley & Associates Inc. will be closed this August 7th for Simcoe day and will reopen August 8th. Have a safe and happy long weekend.
D.J. McGauley is a dedicated team of professionals providing Design and Space Planning, Renovation, Relocation and Facilities Management services to our clients. Based in Toronto, we provide the same excellent professional and personalized service, whether office relocation is down the street or across the GTA. We work with both small and mid-sized companies to save time and money, as well as enjoy a stress-free corporate transition or corporate renovations experience.
An office relocation can be quite exciting, especially for a company going through an expansion or just taking the next step to being a bigger player in its marketplace. But with growth comes various types of “growing pains” – some involving the productivity of employees, others relating to the existing physical and technical aspects of the actual office space. While there are many organizational management strategies in place to help the employees through an office expansion, very few businesses have a proactive strategy in place to deal with office space related issues…so I’d like to suggest a few.
First, if your organization is even thinking about going through office relocation, please take into consideration the following:
- Your company’s current and future business goals
- The physical and technological aspects a potential office space needs to have in order to best meet your current and future business goals
I can’t even count the number of companies that did not take the time to do the above but instead rushed into a relocation only to encounter one or more of the following problems:
- Insufficient office space to facilitate growth
- Insufficient electrical outlets and/or voltage for office equipment
- Noisy or disruptive heating/cooling system
- Telecommunications limited or not activated at new site
- Insufficient internet services available for business needs
- Lack of transportation options for staff to get to the new location
- Lack of parking available
All of the above could be avoided by simply taking a proactive approach to your relocation project. That is why over the next few blogs, I will outline more proactive strategies your relocation team can put into effect for each of the above problems even before your organization begins considering a new office space.
Watch for more blogs in the coming weeks!
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!
Does the office layout have any impact on the productivity in the workplace? Decidedly so. At a time where social collaboration and information sharing are the buzzwords in corporations, especially here in Toronto, the open space interior office design is being hailed as some kind of a 21st century corporate savior. But it’s not that easy. Cubicles for a design space have not entirely lost their point, and some open workspace companies have in fact deemed it better to revert to the former.
An open workspace, often praised as innovative and flexible, allows for easy interaction and facilitates creativity. The premise is, without the stifling cubicles, the hierarchical walls give way to free rein, enabling staff to work in teams and collaborate with each other. Ultimately, employees produce work not only at a faster rate but also at a better quality.
Needless to say, the open office space has worked wonders for SAP’s cloud computing teams. With everyone sitting at an open environment, employees can share ideas freely and without inhibition.
While the concept may have worked for one of SAP’s teams, where the employee count is relatively small and the job requires continually squeezing one’s creative juices, there’s evidence that it might not work at every organization. TIME published an article in 2012 about the demons that hound an open office. This includes unbearable office noise, lack of privacy, and increased employee stress. There’s a study to back this up, and it’s been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
This is why you might not want to totally rule out cubicles. Workspace innovators sometimes call them demoralizing, but it does provide a number of advantages that the open workspace does not. For one, it offers that valuable personal space. There will also be more space to stack documents and diagrams for easy reference. And you won’t deny, it’s much easier to focus when no one’s staring at you from across the table.
Ultimately, your choice of interior office design should depend on the nature of your company or product, the number of employees, and, well, what your employees think about it.
During the office relocation process, a lot of uncertainty can set in and the employees may easily feel demoralized about the security of their jobs. It’s up to management to take steps to engage and motivate their employees. After all, moving into a new office is something to get excited about. Here are some practical tips to keep employee satisfaction at an optimum level during corporate relocation.
1. Involve employees in the office design process.
Value their opinion regarding how the office space design will take shape. Among their biggest concerns will be their workstations and the dining area. Ask staff what’s on their mind, and let them know that their opinions will be communicated to the corporate relocation specialist.
2. Realign expectations.
The employees might feel lost about how the move will affect the work calendar and both the short-term and long-term goals to be achieved. Communicate with them constantly, and tell them how the move will alter (or not alter) the achievement of preset work goals.
3. Update employees about the progress of the relocation.
Every now and then – at the start of every other work day, for example – show photos of what the new office looks like so far. To excite them even more and to achieve a more dramatic effect, you can place your current work office photos side by side with photos of the new office. You’d be sure to elicit just enough ooh’s and aah’s to motivate them to work.
4. Encourage staff to work on a project.
Solicit volunteers to work on a special project that will be placed in the new office, like a corkboard containing photos of some of their best memories at the old work location, and set up a special corner or spot in the lunch room of your new location to be dedicated to this project. This will give employees a sense of entitlement and belongingness.
These are just four practical and creative tips to involve and motivate your employees throughout the corporate relocation process. By letting them feel that they are part of the entire process, you can eliminate uncertainty while motivating them to stay at the top of their game.
One week after the Green Real Estate Forum, CanTech, the single-day Canadian Real Estate Technology Conference, is taking place on April 18th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC).
CanTech will provide information and a platform to discuss the major technological advances, trends, issues and opportunities in regards to Canadian commercial real estate. According to the CanTech website,
“This focused program is designed to meet the needs of executives who are responsible for their organization’s technological strategies, as well as individuals who rely on technology for: Asset Management, Leasing / Brokerage, Financing, Development, Investment, Operations, Marketing, Social Media, Risk Management and Data Analytics. All production functions in commercial real estate are directly influenced by technology and proper use of this increases the efficiency of the factors of production.”
There will be a plethora of respected speakers at this conference, an opportunity to obtain RECO Continuing Education (CE) Credits and other educational credits for those who qualify, and plenty of opportunity for discussion and networking.
Will your firm be making an appearance at CanTech on April 18th, 2013?
Toronto’s Green Real Estate Forum is back at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) for the ninth consecutive year.
The goal of the forum is to provide ample opportunity for discussion on the economics, benefits, strategies and the viability of upgrading and developing green buildings. According to their website, the organizers of this event promise “one of the most comprehensive programs for real estate owners and investors offered in Canada on this subject.”
Here is a full program overview.
RECO Continuing Education (CE) Credits will be provided for those who qualify, as well as other educational credits. For more information, visit the Green Real Estate Forum website.
Is anyone from your corporate real estate office planning to attend the Green Real Estate Forum on April 11th? Do you believe there are major benefits to greening commercial space?