Practical Strategies to Manage Virtual Employees

Practical Strategies to Manage Virtual Employees

NYC Office Suites provides virtual office space in Midtown Manhattan with many flexible and customizable options.

Virtual office space is the work environment of the future, but many businesses are still trying to learn what this actually means for their managers and employees. Running a company with virtual employees is vastly different from operating a more traditional model; however, this innovative approach may be the key to take your company to the next level.

In this article, we’re looking at the various aspects of managing virtual employees and things to keep in mind while overseeing a virtual office space.

Hiring Virtual Employees

It may surprise some managers to learn that the process of hiring virtual employees is very similar to hiring new team members to work in your office.

Spend time assessing the skill set of potential candidates because this is a top identifier in making your decision. But also, pay attention to personality traits and how candidates communicate. Red flags that may come up are candidates that don’t understand their role in your company, candidates that get overly stuck in the details, and schedule inflexibility.

Key Virtual Employee Traits

Let’s face it – some individuals are more suited towards remote work than others. Much of this has to do with a person’s work style and personality. Here are some key virtual employee traits to look for in potential candidates.

  • Self-motivated
  • Independent
  • Highly disciplined
  • Efficient communicator
  • Proactive
  • Assertive
  • Past experience working remotely

Maintaining Communication and Accountability with Virtual Employees

It can definitely be a challenge to readily accessible and open lines of communication and ensure that virtual employees and managers stay accountable to each other. There are many online tools that have been developed to help remote employees and their managers connect in productive and efficient ways. Some of the most popular apps being used for internal communication purposes are Slack, HipChat, and Campfire. Skype, Trello, and Google Hangouts are also good options to try with your virtual employees.

To maintain accountability, it is important to set deadlines and request progress reports, just like you would in a traditional working arrangement. It’s also crucial to explicitly express your intentions and expectations with every project. Finally, provide feedback on a regular basis to keep everyone on the same page and continuously motivated to get the job done.

Tracking Virtual Employee Work Performance

Tracking performance is another major concern among companies that are new to hiring virtual employees. But if your employees aren’t in your office during the business week, modern technology makes it possible to keep track of what they are doing and address problems before they become major problems.

If your virtual employees feel like they’re being spied on, this will make them feel distrusted and decrease morale. However, weekly face-to-face video conferences may help facilitate productive chats about accomplishments and frustrations during the week. Basecamp is one example of project management system that helps track how projects are flowing and how much time is spent on those projects. A variety of web-based platforms can help you set up metrics to measure progress and determine whether remote working arrangements are helping or hurting your business.

The Role of Virtual Offices

Although working with employees virtually can work very well most of the time, sometimes you need an in-person meeting to get the job done right. NYC Office Suites provides virtual office space in Midtown Manhattan with many flexible and customizable options.

Choose your number of private 1-3-desk day office days, 2-25-person meeting room hours, live receptionist voice packages, and even website and social media virtual mail assistant profile addresses. Companies of all shapes and sizes can utilize this part-time service to coordinate and expand professional business operations at a reasonable price and with minimal outlay. Give us a call at 800-346-3968 or send us a message to learn more!

 

What You Should Know about Legaltech and NYC Conference Rooms Nearby

NYC Office Suites is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, the same neighborhood where Legaltech will be taking place

The legal industry used to have a reputation for favoring paper files over electronic ones and being behind the times in terms of technology. However, that’s all changing as the industry’s most successful firms embrace cloud-based process automation and adapt to new data privacy and security expectations.

Legaltech, the largest and most important legal technology event of the year, will take place January 31 to February 2, 2017 at the New York Hilton Midtown. This is the best place to be to learn about what technology can do for your law practice, and many attendees will need conference rooms nearby to build off of the event’s momentum.

All About Legaltech NYC

Over 10,000 professionals will be attending this year’s Legaltech event with over 200 speakers, more than 10 tracks of education, and at least 300 exhibitors. Topics in focus this year will be tech-friendly alternatives to traditional legal service providers, automating common tasks by 2020, the role of millennials in the legal landscape, and data privacy concerns. Event sponsors include Consilio, DiscoverReady, Epiq, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and others.

Over the course of three days, the agenda will play heavily on the topics of eDiscovery, data risk management, new technological developments, and the future of the legal industry. The Emerging Technology Track will cover topics in greater detail, such as eDiscovery, email security, and how data analysis can be used to drive business. Meanwhile, Supersessions will touch on diversity programs, other aspects of data security, and how analytics can replace outdated spreadsheets. There’s also a wide range of exhibitors that will be present to introduce legal professionals to cutting-edge solutions and technology products that can help law firms improve their practice.

Event pricing ranges from $15 to $1,295 depending on how involved you want to be in the event, but keep in mind that early bird rates end on December 31. If you want to stay at the event venue, the New York Hilton Midtown, the standard discount rate for attendees is $330 excluding taxes and fees if you book by December 30.

Meeting Space, Conference Facilities, and Day Offices

Many legal professionals who have already registered for the Legaltech event have expressed interest in securing meeting and conference space nearby to collaborate with their own teams, as well as other firms and tech companies in the industry. NYC Office Suites is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, the same neighborhood where Legaltech will be taking place very soon.

We offer business centers and meeting rooms that are available by the hour, for full days, or even longer. This is a far more professional and accommodating option than cramming everyone into hotel rooms or meeting at a noisy restaurant. At NYC Office Suites, our administrative staff can help you compile your presentation materials, prepare conference rooms, make transportation arrangements, and even order meals. And since the whole purpose of this big event is technology, we’ll have our technology team onsite to equip your meeting space for conference calls, teleconferences, webinars, and whatever else you need to stay connected.

If your law firm is based in NYC or does business here from time to time, we have meeting and conference rooms for all your temporary space needs throughout the year as well. With locations in the Plaza District, Commerce Building, Graybar Building, and Midtown East, we can accommodate your firm for depositions, arbitration hearings, consultations, interviews, and firm events.

Meeting room pricing starts at $39 per hour as part of a package or $65 per hour on-demand. Legaltech is just around the corner, so give us a call, send us a message, or use the live chat feature on our website to reserve your meeting space for January 31 to February 2!

How a Trump Administration May Impact NYC Commercial Real Estate

NYC Office Suites provides convenient and affordable conference room rental NYC

Well before Donald Trump was ever involved in politics, he was famous for his powerful role in real estate, and his name has been synonymous with the industry as it is displayed on prominent buildings all around the world. With his new role in the political realm, many people within the real estate industry are wondering how Trump as, President of the United States, may influence and mold the real estate market, globally, nationally, and especially in his hometown, here in New York City.

In this article, we’ll explore the impact that an incoming President, Donald Trump, may have on commercial real estate markets, and more specifically on commercial office space Manhattan in NYC.

Housing for the Rich and Poor

In his campaign, Trump proposed tax breaks for wealthy Americans, which could strengthen the luxury real estate market. However, there are concerns that this could reduce the amount of affordable housing that could put vulnerable Americans at risk, as well as fair housing rules and housing subsidies. However, Trump has always been pro-business, and his campaign promoted eased government regulations that could drive infrastructure improvement and construction projects.

Possible Impacts on Office Space Manhattan

Not only does a Trump presidency stand to impact the residential housing market, but also the commercial one. According to a Shearman & Sterling LLP report, many economists believe that Trump’s administration will bring higher interest rates, tax cuts, and construction spending to New York City. The report points out that the Trump administration will likely preserve parts of the tax code that are in the favor of real estate developers. However, Trump’s strong stance on immigration may cut the supply off low-cost labor and limit the number of international investors interested in supporting U.S. projects.

Construction, Manufacturing, and Policy

In the past, Trump has supported policies that favor the construction industry, including improved infrastructure across the U.S. In his victory speech, Trump proclaimed, “We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”

Trump has also indicated that he supports the growth of domestic manufacturing, which would require more commercial real estate properties like warehouses, factories, and office space. But there are concerns that limited immigration may affect the construction industry and make new building projects more expensive to complete.

Tax Reform Under Trump

Forbes contributors have written extensively about discussions regarding tax reform in the Trump administration that will likely impact the commercial real estate industry. The like-kind exchange tax deferral that commercial real estate practitioners have been used to, could end in favor economic growth. Trump has also payed close attention to depreciation as a way to avoid taxes, which could come up in larger discussions about the tax code in the future.

The Role of Inflation

Another issue that has come up in discussions about Trump’s possible impact on the real estate market is inflation. With tax cuts and more spending on infrastructure, inflation is likely to rise. This could mean higher rental prices, which would impact business looking for office space Manhattan. Inflation may also be impacted by Trump’s new international trade policies and labor restrictions.

Foreign Investments in Real Estate

Experts also anticipate that foreign investments in commercial real estate may decline once Trump is in office. This speculation is due to expected higher interest rates, stricter immigration laws, and political uncertainty. Open dialogue with leaders of other nations may help to secure foreign investments and keep the market strong.

Industry Professionals Most Impacted 

While certain professionals may be worried about what a Trump presidency may bring to the real estate market, others couldn’t be more excited for it.  Some real estate developers look forward to what Trump’s administration may do to help their businesses, for example, while others fear the impact of increased inflation. Overall, both the commercial real estate industry and the construction industry have been fairly optimistic about how a Trump presidency could help their businesses.

Uncertainty May Lead to Hesitation

Economists say that political uncertainty directly impacts the economy, which affects commercial real estate indirectly. When investors are uncertain about the future of policy, they tend to delay making significant decisions until new details become available. And when capital markets feel a shock to the system, construction financing can be more difficult to obtain. This can discourage investment and real estate growth in the short-term, but pick up rapidly once new favorable policies are made public.

For Your Conference Room Rental NYC Needs

Finding rental office space Manhattan can be a challenge, especially in light of current events. But since Trump has indicated that he still plans to spend a significant amount of time in New York, demand for office space may very well increase.

NYC Office Suites provides convenient and affordable conference room rental NYC to help you connect with the people and businesses you need to make a difference. Contact us today at 800-346-3968 while space is still available to facilitate planning and strategizing meetings that will prepare you for whatever a Trump presidency brings.

Available Office Spaces Near Trump Tower

Available office space near Trump Tower Manhattan

Since the recent election, Trump Tower, a 58-story high-rise on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets in Midtown Manhattan, has become a more important piece of real estate than ever before. Donald Trump has made his love of New York City very clear, and many speculate that Trump Tower will serve as a “satellite White House” where he will spend a significant part of his time as president.

Undoubtedly, Trump’s presence in Midtown will change the lives of the people who live and work here. But this is also a great opportunity to look into temporary office space near Trump Tower and conference space near Trump if you work in certain key industries.

Benefits of Being Near Trump Tower

While long-time residents may cringe at the added hassles and headaches of a presidential neighbor, there are also many benefits of having Midtown Manhattan offices near Trump Tower. Here are a few benefits to consider.

Connectivity to the Administration

Proximity pays off if you’re an industry professional or business that plans to work closely with the Trump Administration. Since Trump has indicated that he still wants to spend as much time as possible at his beloved penthouse in New York, politicians and diplomats may have better opportunities to meet with him here rather than D.C.

Members of the media who wish to interview Trump on various issues may be able to get the stories they want if their magazines and websites have a presence in Midtown. And lobbyists and advocacy groups may be able to get their requests and messages in front of Trump and his team more readily if they find temporary office space near Trump Tower.

Avoid the Traffic & Congestion

The area around Trump Tower was busy and congested well before Trump ever decided to run for president, and traffic issues have only gotten worse since his campaign. But if you maintain offices near Trump Tower, you can avoid the hassle of driving, flying, or taking public transportation to the area to attend crucial meetings.

Increased Safety & Security

Anyone who’s passed through Midtown Manhattan lately knows how much security has been ramped up since Trump’s presidential campaign kicked off. Mayor de Blasio says that the current heightened security measures around Trump Tower will remain in effect at least until inauguration day. Secret Service and the NYPD are patrolling between 53rd Street and 57th Street and between Sixth Avenue and Madison Avenue, and concrete barriers have been installed between Fifth and Madison on 56th Street.

While pedestrian bag checks may be a hassle for tourists and locals, the added security can be a welcome measure for businesses who require extra protection. Having additional security can provide industry professionals with peace of mind that attacks and threats won’t go unnoticed. Also, law enforcement has stated that the Secret Service is in negotiations to take over two vacant floors at Trump Tower.

Easy Access to Restaurants & Shops

Some of the best and most iconic restaurants and shops in New York City are located around the Trump Tower, but access to them has been partially restricted by added security measures. However, if you take advantages of convenient offices for rent near Trump Tower, you can still visit these establishments and support local businesses during challenging times.

How to Rent Midtown Manhattan Offices Near Trump Tower

It’s no secret that rental prices aren’t cheap in this area, which is why Midtown Manhattan temporary office space near Trump Tower is such an attractive option. At NYC Office Suites, Midtown Manhattan is our area of expertise and the place we know best.

We provide flexible offices for rent near Trump Tower that are prebuilt, furnished, staffed, and technology-ready. With contract terms of as little as 3 months, our Plaza District, Commerce Building, Graybar Building, and Midtown East offices can be tailored to suit any business needs and preferences.

So if securing a prominent location near Trump’s New York headquarters is important to your personal career or professional business, contact us today or visit our website to chat with our team. Given the current political climate, our offices for rent near Trump Tower are going fast, so don’t wait any longer to get in the middle of all the action.

Trumped Up! The Impact of the Trump Presidency on the NYC Housing Market

Jay Glazer

This article was courteously provided by “The Jay Glazer Team” to share with our readership.

I think it’s safe to say that not many of us here in the (mostly) blue state of New York were expecting Donald Trump to get elected president. Political opinions aside, it’s the new reality, and with such uncertainty and surprise, there are surely to be ramifications top to bottom on the political, economic, social, and ecological stages. Having said this, we are here in New York City, and we are homeowners, so let me get down to brass tacks on how I think his election will affect our housing market.

Interestingly enough, and probably the headlining fact about Trump as president is that he has no track record. I mean nothing by this except, we can’t look at how he has voted and moved on laws, plans, programs, etc, in the past because he hasn’t ever voted. Recently, Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist at Trulia (parent company to Zillow), said “The president-elect has basically made his campaign oriented around uncertainty.” My grand prediction is that I have no prediction! If anyone thinks they know what’s going to happen, they are just as uncertain as the rest of us.

Nevertheless, let’s look at some additional facts and opinions as a way of potentially providing some context into the future. Firstly, Jonathan Smoke – Chief Economist at Realtor.com – analyzed the last 20 years of presidential elections (5 total) and concluded that outside of the neighborhood of Capital Hill, elections have no major or consistent impact on home sales or prices. Much larger influences are economic booms or busts. This begs the question; will Trump’s presidency create a boom or bust?

Well, since the day he was elected Trump has said priority #1 was cutting taxes and spending on infrastructure. Ironically, although Republicans tout themselves as fiscally conservative, an all Republican Washington usually means more spending. More spending means more fiscal debt which likely means the Federal Reserve will have to print more money (think back to the recession and bailout), which will keep interest rates down. So, while infrastructure and lower taxes, should in theory, spur wealthy New Yorkers into buying mode, it could also keep interest rates low. Yes, they’ve ticked up a bit recently but I think this is a classic market overreaction. We could ultimately be looking at a very healthy NYC housing market – if rates are low and people are saving more money and living in better cities, that should lead to a good residential real estate market.

But, there are risks here. Trump has also said that he will repeal Dodd-Frank which was enacted in the wake of the financial crisis. Those laws were put in place to safeguard against toxic lending (did you see The Big Short?). If Trump deregulates, lower taxes, and spends on infrastructure it could potentially be the beginning of the end.

Ultimately, we are right back where we started, which is to say, we just don’t know. Only time and actual policy changes will lead to potentially major impact on our market and for now, lest we forget, President Obama is still in office.

How will the Trump presidency affect the value of your home?

Visit villagehomevalue.com to find out.

Temporary Workspace Can Strengthen Client Relationships

Remote Office Space

With more companies allowing employees to work remotely and using temporary office spaces, emails and phone calls are replacing many traditional face-to-face interactions. There are concerns that modern companies that heavily rely on distant communications may lose sight of the personal touch and suffer financially because of it. However, modern technology and changing attitudes are making it possible to enhance client relationships to a whole new level.

Here are five ways that remote and temporary workspace businesses can build personal rapport with clientele and maintain strong client relationships with through communication.

Harness the Power of Emerging Technology

Digital communications are a way of life these days, not just in business but in our personal and social lives as well. Technological developments in file sharing, face-to-face online chat, email systems, and archiving are making communications more efficient, productive, and streamlined.

Video chat with tools like Skype and Google Hangouts is a key way to make management, team members, and clients feel connected and communicating more effectively than by phone and email alone. One of the best parts of working outside a traditional office is not getting stuck in a rut. So, don’t be afraid to try new apps, software, and digital tools when they are released to see if they work better than your current system.

Maximize Shared Project Management Tools

Project management software helps remote companies log, track, monitor, schedule, budget, and report work being done. It helps workers communicate with team members and clients, but it also has the potential to transform work relationships by building confidence, motivation, and loyalty.

These tools are also a great way to promote transparency to let clients know what you’re doing and how they can be a part of it. Provide direct access to views in your project management tool to let clients see your progress and offer feedback. Not only could this save you time from making revisions down the road, but it can also enhance client confidence and keep business flowing smoothly.

Customer Service Software

If your business deals with many clients on any given day, customer service software can keep your team organized and communicating a unified message to your clients. Based on your industry and business goals, customized software can track incoming issues, resolved issues, hours worked, high priority matters, and client feedback.

When you’re not in the same office as your team every day, micromanaging tasks can be too time-consuming and counterproductive. Reports generated from the software can also be shared with clients to show progress and make decisions.

Embrace a Little Chit Chat

People who have been working remotely can start resemble robots after a while because this style of work requires quick and concise responses. But don’t forget that the people on the other end of the telephone or internet connection are exactly that…people.

By nature, we are social and emotional beings, and the best business relationships are built on collaboration and shared ideas. To build that level of trust, don’t be afraid to ask your clients how their weekend was or how they plan to celebrate an upcoming holiday, for example. Remote working relationships don’t mean that you can’t chat socially like you would in the breakroom in a traditional office. Slack and Hipchat are popular venues for filling gaps between emails and helping professionals get to know each other in a virtual space.

Establish a Virtual Office Space

But in certain circumstances, digital communication simply cannot replace face-to-face interactions. For those circumstances, consider a virtual office NYC. A virtual office space can create a positive local impression, professional corporate image, and enhance client communications without the unnecessary expense and hassle of a traditional office.

With options starting at just $50 per month, NYC Office Suites allows businesses to choose one-to-three desk private offices, two-to 25-person meeting room hours, live receptionist voice packages, website and social media virtual mail assistant profile addresses, and flexible workspace packages. Small, mid-sized, and large companies can utilize these part-time virtual office space services to enhance their communications and expand professional business operations with minimal outlay. Contact us to learn more about our Midtown Manhattan temporary and virtual office locations!

Regulating A/C in the Office: Is Your Temperature Fair for Everyone?

Fair Office A/C Temperatures for All

With summer in full swing, many employees can’t wait to escape the hot, humid weather and enjoy some nice, cool air conditioning. However, every employee has different temperature preferences and can be naturally warmer or cooler than others in the office.

Not only do office temperature preferences vary between genders, but they’re also influenced by the age, race, health, and weight of your employees. Consistently being too hot or too cold also has a way of making employees cranky and reducing overall productivity in significant ways.

Temperature and Gender Differences

There’s a stereotype that men are more hot-blooded and women are more cold-blooded, but the situation isn’t always that black and white. Women often have a larger ratio of body surface to body mass and greater subcutaneous fat content, which makes their bodies stay cooler. However, women taking oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, or going through menopause are likely to be just as warm or warmer than men in the office.

Body temperature also varies with levels of physical activity, illness, and certain medications that employees may be taking. One study found body temperature varies with race the most in older women, and that black women’s body temperature averages 0.13 degrees Celsius higher than that of white women. So while gender is often a concern when discussing office temperature regulation, it’s certainly not the only factor.

Office Temperature & Employee Productivity

Whether too hot or too cold, studies have shown that the temperature of your office has a profound impact on productivity in the workplace. One Cornell University study found that an office temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit resulted in 44% more employee errors and that employees were less than half as productive as when the office was 77 degrees (meaning even more errors were committed).

There’s a good reason for this because our bodies waste valuable energy needed for concentration on staying warm when the temperature drops. However, when office temperatures are too warm and cozy, employees tend to get too comfortable, even to the point of drifting off to sleep.

Maintaining a Comfortable and Fair Office Environment

Keeping all of your employees happy with the office temperature is virtually impossible, and some people’s bodies are simply more tolerant than others. Fortunately, there are some fair and energy-efficient ways to help all of your employees stay comfortable in the office environment during the summer.

Here are some temperature regulation tips to consider if you’re dealing with a feuding workplace you’re your employees just can’t seem to agree on the thermostat number.

  • Encourage employees to dress in layers and leave an extra sweater in the office
  • Let natural light in office windows during the day to balance out powerful A/C
  • Make warm beverages (tea and coffee) and cold beverages (water and juice) available to employees at no cost
  • Provide personal-size desk fans to employees who consistently complain of being overheated in the office
  • Turn off unused electronics to cut down on excess heat and conserve energy
  • Don’t make unfair assumptions about office temperature strictly based on gender

What temperature is your office thermostat set at, and how comfortable do you feel in your office environment?

How to Improve Energy Efficiency in Your Workplace

Workplace Energy Efficiency

Sustainability and energy efficiency involve more than just protecting the environment; they’re important considerations for a business’ ethics and responsibility too. By incorporating energy efficient practices into the flexible workspace, companies can help their employees become healthier and more productive.  Office business centers are much more efficient per desk than traditional space!

Why Does Energy Efficiency Matter?

It’s crucial for businesses to understand that the amount of energy they use is high.  According to recent statistics, the average American consumes 4.2 times more energy than those living elsewhere in the world.

According to research conducted by the NEED Project:

  • A 7-10-degree adjustment to your thermostat for 8 hours per day can lower heating and cooling usage by 10 percent.
  • Stopping air leaks can help you save 10 percent on usage.

Best Practices & Techniques for Energy Efficiency

The first step in transforming your New York office into an energy efficient workplace is to increase awareness of the issues among employees, executives and management. Energy is an essential part of our transportation, heating and cooling systems, lighting, entertainment, and comfort.

Fortunately, there are many things that Manhattan companies and individuals can do to save energy.

How to Drastically Cut Energy Usage

Firstly, use flexible-term shared office space instead of long term leases with building owners.

Secondly, some energy-saving practices can cut usage more drastically than others. These are some of the best ways to make your office space more efficient:

  • Natural sunlight – Take advantage of sunshine through skylights, sun tunnels, and insulated windows in place of electric lighting.
  • Insulation & weatherization – Invest in high quality insulation materials to prevent heat leakage in the winter and air conditioning leakage in the summer.
  • Turn off computers and printers – Wasted energy can amount to as much as 20 percent of a company’s electrical usage.
  • Swap out fluorescent and incandescent lights for LED lights – LED lights require 80 percent less energy to produce the same output as other bulbs and save 10-20 percent in energy usage.

One convenient way to implement these and other energy saving practices is to find a shared office space committed making energy efficiency a priority.

More Energy Saving Tips

There are lots of things that you can do personally to help save energy and money around the workplace. Here are some additional energy saving tips to share with your employees and coworkers.

  • Recycle glass, paper, and plastic waste
  • Keep doors and windows closed when heating and air conditioning are on
  • Turn lights off when leaving a room
  • Keep air vents clear of office supplies to avoid blocking airflow
  • Install motion-sensor lights in the office
  • Use energy efficient appliances in the office kitchen
  • Schedule regular maintenance checkups for heating and air conditioning systems

At NYC Office Suites, we place a high priority on energy efficiency in our buildings, flexible office spaces, and meeting rooms. Contact us today at 800-346-3968 or send us a message to learn about why our office space is much more environmentally responsible than any traditional New York office lease.