How to Facilitate the Change to a Hot Desking Office

Hot desking is the new wave of workplace design where there is no assigned desk or designated area for the employees. There is often a variety of different types of areas for employees to work in such as desks, couches, comfy chairs, as well as conference rooms and gathering spots throughout the office. If it is not occupied, you can use it! There is also hotel scheduling, where employees reserve a space, or zone for activity-based working; where employees designate space for them self or their team. With these new types of office environments, you will find a way to facilitate the change with the whole staff on board!

Here are some tips on implementing Hotel Scheduling and Hotdesking:

1. Have your employees’ input in the planning process.

Most of the time, the office is where people are spending an average of eight hours a day, five days a week. That’s a significant amount of time, so why not let them have involvement of the planning or design? Employees can express or present their suggestions for what environment they work best in, and your designer can make the most synergistic space happen!

2. Create a clear and concise policy for the employees.

If there are no set rules, then employees will just assume, and that is not idea in some cases. Part of managing a new office space that consists of hot desking, make sure the employees know the policy on how to treat the office space. The rules could include wiping down the desk or table after use every day so that the work stations stay clean, or if there are stationary computers, make sure everything is saved and logged out of prior to shutting down at the end of the day. Other policy ideas could include noise and headphones rules, which could tie into the design planning of acoustics in the new office space. Whatever the policy may be, make sure it is clear and known so there is no confusion on how to treat the new office space!

3. Introduce technology for communication.

In a traditional office, most desks have a designated phone that is assigned to the person sitting at the assigned desk. However, in a hot desking, hotel scheduling, or activity-based working situation, the designated phone will most likely not be there. There are so many different types of new technology now that can be used to streamline workplace communications with ease. Skype, G-Suite, Slack, Zoom, Outlook, and HipChat are just a few apps and tools to help unify the office into being in constant communication from any computer or phone. With a simple login, any employee can be connected, and they won’t be tied down to a single designated location!

4. Create a variety of spaces for all types of workers.

This ties back to the first point, keeping your employees in mind during planning is key. Whether you are relocating or renovating the existing office space, it is important to understand your employees needs. You and the designer can work together to create a space that makes everyone happy. You do not have to make the office all hot desking if that may not be suitable for everyone. Perhaps someone enjoys personalizing their space, so create a place to do just that. A bulletin board for personal pictures of flyers can help, where people will take pride in showing others a piece of home or life outside work. Lockers or cubbies can also be added so employees have the option to leave items at work they may not want to bring back and forth from the office every day.

With so many benefits to having your workplace make the upgrade over to the new wave of office design, it is helpful to know how to manage the change. With allowing your employees to feel like they are involved, clearly stating the expectations on how to treat the new environment, making sure communication is accessible, and everyone remains comfortable, you can absolutely take your business to the next level!

Ready to get started on your new workplace design? At HF Planners, LLC we have experienced designers to help transform your space into whatever works best with your office needs. HF Planners, LLC provides Facility Planning, Management, and Design services to help you find the right resources and design styles for your facility. Contact us today!

What are the benefits of Hoteling in your office?

Hoteling or Hot Desking – is the new way of reserving your workspace or office.  Reservation-based style of office management on an as-needed basis.

This method has become very popular over the past decade.  The concept came about in the communications and technology sector – where more employees started telecommuting or working from home and would call an office concierge to schedule a seat or office as required.

Benefits of Hoteling:

· Financial - companies use hoteling as a cost savings for real estate costs, companies can allow for headcount growth without the need to invest in more space for employees.

· More Resources – offices who have implemented telecommuting have discovered that while employees were absent, the resources in the office are readily available to the staff and visiting employees.

· Engaged Employees – when providing a space without rigorous daily requirements, and promoting a space where employees can choose where they sit allows for employee interaction and engagement.

·  Productivity Increases – by creating a flexible work environment, employees can now choose what type of environment they want to work in.  Hoteling provides the end-user to reserve a collaboration work area or a conference room to work privately.

For more ways to improve your office layout to incorporate the Hoteling concept into your workplace, contact us today!

7 Ways to Effectively Brand Your Facility

Interior Branding is important, recent studies have shown that more business owners have begun to elevate their brand, by making the link between brand identity and their physical space. Whether a business operates from a single site or multiple locations across the country, when it comes to interior branding consistency is key.

 Here are 7 easy ways to brand your space:

  • Research Your Competition

  • Establish a Budget and Invest Wisely

  • Explore all Options

  • Be Consistent in Your Initiatives

  • Design for Maximum Impact

  • Make a Lasting Impression

  • Be Subtle

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5 Ways to Brand Your Workspace

Interior Branding is important, recent studies have shown that more business owners have begun to elevate their brand, by making the link between brand identity and their physical space. Whether a business operates from a single site or multiple locations across the country, when it comes to interior branding consistency is key.

 Here are 5 easy ways to brand your space:

  • Signage - the entryway configuration is the first interaction any visitor faces when entering the office. Signage would include company name, colors and logo.

  • Storage - common areas in the office should send a message about the organization as a whole.

  • Color - One of the easiest way to brand a space. Colors do not have to be limited to the walls or the floor, color can be integrated to panels on furniture or upholstery in collaborative areas.

  • Layout - depending on the type of organization, whether there is more open area than offices, the layout will impact how the space is configured; like having more collaborative space.

  • Furniture - ensure that you have the right furniture - furniture is all about functionality, which lays a great foundation for branding. Think about using colors and choices that can be modified with your ever-changing business.

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ADA Compliant Parking Lot

Parking facilities need to be ADA compliant.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides specific guidelines and rules regarding accessible parking in any facility.  When you are not in compliance with accessibility rules, it can lead to hefty fines and lawsuits.  Do you know if your parking facility is in compliance?

The first thing you must do to be ADA compliant is to provide an adequate number of accessible parking spaces.  This is dependent upon the size of your lot.  For example, if you have 1-25 spaces in your facility, you must have one accessible parking lot. 

 Guidelines vary slightly for medical facilities and in some places, accessible parking spaces are required to meet specific parameters--the width must be 8 ft for a car and 11 feet for a van and the access aisle must be 5 feet wide and be as long as the parking space.

When it comes to signage, handicap parking signs must contain the International Symbol of Accessibility and be located in front of the parking space.  They must be installed 5 feet about the ground so they have high visibility.  If the facility contains fewer than 4 spaces are not required to have signage for accessible spaces.

Pavement Markings--while accessible parking spaces are not required to be painted with blue lines or have the International Symbol for Accessibility marked on the pavement, this is a common practice and it should be highly considered.

WePark

San Francisco has the highest proportion of coworking spaces relative to its population, according to a recent article published in Fast Company.  Coworking spaces have become a popular option for freelancers, remote employees, and entrepreneurs.  But in many major cities, coworking spaces bring with them extremely high costs.

 On April 29, San Francisco based coder Victor Pontis, a San-Francisco based coder, decided to prove a point while launching the initiative called WePark.  The point is that space dedicated to on-street parking in major cities could be put to more human-centric use.  This is not the first time that someone has thought of using parking spaces for co-working. In fact, every September, activists all over the world participate in PARK(ing) Day--which encourages people to put parking spaces to use (other than for parking.)

 While WePark is a pop-up style event, its creator, Pontis believes that it is a movement that is taking on speed and isn’t going to go away. He believes that one of the best ways for it to work is in collaboration with established brick and mortar businesses, which will give the co-working parking space users access to Wi-Fi, restrooms and water, and electricity in case charging of laptops and other devices is necessary. While this is just the beginning of a movement, there are plans for organizing it in a more sophisticated way. 

 You can read more about WePark here

Adequate Lighting in Parking Facilities

Most experts agree that lighting is the most important safety feature in a garage/lot to minimize the risk of theft, accidents and violent crimes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 1 in 10 property crimes—including motor vehicle theft and property theft—occur in parking lots or garages.

 One of the most effective ways to deter crime in parking lots/garages is by making sure that the lighting in the facility is adequate.  According to a DOJ report, “one the few facility features that has been documented to reduce crimes in parking facilities.” Lighting design plays a very important role in creating a secure parking lot/garage.

First, consider the design features that actually invite crime into a parking lot/garage:

●     Vague and Unclear Signage. Because large parking facilities can often become confusing and difficult to navigate, poor signage can distract people from what’s happening around them as they try to search for their cars--making them susceptible to crime.

●     Failure to Control Access. When parking lots are unsecure, they provide criminals with easy access. Entrances and exits should monitor access and control traffic flow.

●     Poor Lighting. When a facility is well-lit, it eliminates the potential for hiding spaces and helps to increase awareness of parker’s surroundings.

●     Lack of Surveillance. By making sure a facility is properly monitored with security guards and camera systems, it can be a major component to deter crime. 

●     Lack of Maintenance. When criminals see that a facility is rundown, it alerts them that security is not tight and actually invites criminals into the facility.

 

If you think that you might need to make improvements in your lighting, here are a few things to consider:

●     If your parking facility is over ten years old, updating your lighting to more modern fixtures will provide ongoing savings with reduced energy costs.

●      Lighting plays a critical role in how well camera systems work in an outdoor environment. In order to get the most out of your CCTV security system, having uniform lighting is important..

●      Be informed about the ordinances that your city or town has enacted regarding “light pollution.”  Ordinances set limits on the amount and type of lighting that you can use in your facility.

●      Lighting requires regular maintenance.  If the lighting in your facility is older or dirty, you will get less output.  It is important to have lighting cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.

Parking Lot Safety Tips

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires business and facility owners to provide a safe and healthy workplace.  Often facility owners don’t understand the complexity of this law--it extends beyond the building and includes safety in your parking garage or lot. It’s basic premises law, employers are responsible for any area that they own.

It is important to understand ways in which employers can keep their parking facilities safe because if not properly maintained it can lead to accidents.  Workplace accidents cost business owners, lower employee morale, decrease productivity and workers’ compensation claims.

By following these safety tips, not only can employers keep their employees safe, but avoid the unnecessary negative impacts that it can have on a business.

1.    Install clear and proper signage.  In order to keep traffic flowing smoothly, signage and directional signs should be easy to understand to guide vehicles in the correct direction. In a parking lot, drivers may be backing up or driving the wrong direction and not focused on pedestrians. Lots and/or garages should also use visible striping and paint so that people can identify, parking spaces, handicapped spaces and crosswalks.

2.  Maintain cement and pavement.  Make sure that all walkways and roadways are maintained so that they are know potholes and walkways do not have areas where someone could slip, trip or fall.  When inclement weather occurs, it is important because wintry weather or rain can create slick, icy or wet patches that can lead to injury. 

3. Provide ample lighting.  By making sure the lighting in the parking facility is adequate, it will help decrease the possibility of accidents, property damage, theft or violence.  Performing quarterly maintenance checks is important to replace burned-out or non-functioning lights. Also, make sure that trees and shrubbery do not block light fixtures.

Are you ready to create a safer workplace for your facility? Let the experts at HF Planners help.  HF Planners, LLC provides Facility Planning, Management, and Design services to help you manage resources and meet your organization’s goals for its facilities. We have a proven record of successfully completing projects of all sizes for well-known companies across major industries. We would like the opportunity to work with you!

Co-Working In Parking Areas

San Francisco has the highest proportion of coworking spaces relative to its population, according to a recent article published in Fast Company.  Coworking spaces have become a popular option for freelancers, remote employees, and entrepreneurs.  But in many major cities, coworking spaces bring with them extremely high costs.

 On April 29, San Francisco based coder Victor Pontis, a San-Francisco based coder, decided to prove a point while launching the initiative called WePark.  The point is that space dedicated to on-street parking in major cities could be put to more human-centric use.  This is not the first time that someone has thought of using parking spaces for co-working. In fact, every September, activists all over the world participate in PARK(ing) Day--which encourages people to put parking spaces to use (other than for parking.)

 While WePark is a pop-up style event, its creator, Pontis believes that it is a movement that is taking on speed and isn’t going to go away. He believes that one of the best ways for it to work is in collaboration with established brick and mortar businesses, which will give the co-working parking space users access to Wi-Fi, restrooms and water, and electricity in case charging of laptops and other devices is necessary. While this is just the beginning of a movement, there are plans for organizing it in a more sophisticated way. 

 You can read more about WePark here

 HF Planners, LLC provides Facility Planning, Management, and Design services to help you manage resources and meet your organization’s goals for its facilities. We have a proven record of successfully completing projects of all sizes for well-known companies across major industries. We would like the opportunity to work with you!

7 Concepts on the WELL Building Standard

Over six years ago, IWBI gathered a diverse group of professions to develop the Well Building Standard. It was established because they understood that while 90% of people’s time is spent indoors, there had been no reliable standards established to promote health and well-being. There are many benefits for building owners to promote standards in which people can thrive in.   

 

Buildings are monitored over several years to identify how they are performing in 7 key areas.  The 7 key concepts of the Well Building Standards are:

 

Air: This area focuses on cleaning protocols, banning cigarette smoking and vaping in and outside of a building, having air filtration systems to keep the air inside the building as clean as possible.

 

Water: This concept focuses on providing quality water that is available for employees and building occupants to drink.  Buildings can do this by having filtered drinking water dispensers in refrigerators, or simply a water cooler.  It is required that drinking water be available to all employees within 100 feet of occupied desks.

 

Light: The focus of this concept is to create an office that ensures that all desks have access to natural daylight.  There are many ways to accomplish this, even if windows are limited. Glass walls, circadian task lights and other forms of artificial light that mimic daylight. 

 

Comfort. Well Standards require that 30 percent of workstations provide sit-to-stand capabilities. A new trend in workstations are desks that electronically can be adjusted to suite the occupant in terms of desk surface and computer monitors. The comfort level of employees has a great impact on focus and overall satisfaction and wellness.  Additionally, thermal comfort should be considered as well.

 

Fitness, Nourishment, and Mind. This concept encourages physical and mental wellness for all staff.  The WELL Standard provides incentives for employees to stay physically active: if employees track 50 workouts in six months, then they can expense $200 of fitness-related costs bi-annually.

 

Statistics have shown that when organizations follow the Well Standards productivity increases.  In one project survey, the staff felt over 85 percent more productive in the space.  Are you ready to create the most productive, healthiest space for your employees?  Let the experts at HF Planners help!

 

HF Planners, LLC provides Facility Planning, Management, and Design services to help you manage resources and meet your organization’s goals for its facilities. We have a proven record of successfully completing projects of all sizes for well-known companies across major industries. We would like the opportunity to work with you!

 

About the WELL Movement

If you haven’t heard about the WELL movement, there are a few things you need to do to get started.  WELL is the leading standard for supporting health and well-being in buildings--committed to improving health and human experience through impactful design.

 At HF Planners, we believe that all design should adhere to the WELL Building Standard.  It is important for contractors to understand the WELL Standard and why and how you can become involved. 

 About WELL

WELL was launched in October 2014 through extensive research and development.  The WELL Building standard has become the premier standard for buildings, interiors, and communities who want to implement features that support human health and wellness.  It was developed by combining scientific and medical research, information on environmental health, behavioral, health and risk factors and how they affect practices in building design, construction, and management. The WELL Building Standard was established through an expert peer review process--it includes three phases--scientific, practitioner and medical review.

 The best thing to do to get started: Join the WELL movement!

 Here are two steps to get you started:

  1. First, create a WELL online account. Once you do this, the International WELL Building Institute™ will send you updates.  Here you can also build your profile.  Additionally, you can explore the WELL Project Directory to find publicly registered projects in your region.

  2. Once you become a member, you can read up on the WELL process and check out current projects that will help you become familiar with the WELL Building Standard. 

If you want more information about the WELL Building Standard, give us a call today.  HF Planners, LLC provides Facility Planning, Management, and Design services to help you manage resources and meet your organization’s goals for its facilities. We have a proven record of successfully completing projects of all sizes for well-known companies across major industries. We would like the opportunity to work with you!

WELL-ness in the Office is on the Rise!

Generating a unique place where occupants demand wellness features is a great way to attract and retain top talent.

RESEARCH VALIDATES BENEFITS

“Tenants are competing for talent, and want to provide the best possible space. Unlike LEED, which is about the building’s performance, wellness is more focused on people.”

To stay relevant with the trends, reach out to HF Planners, LLC to learn how to implement a WELL-ness program in your space.

For more information:

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Emergency Action Plan

Any type of emergency can take seconds to escalate.  Being prepared in the event of an emergency is critical for protecting your employees and your business. Your facility needs to have a comprehensive emergency action plan in place.  It has been proven that workplace emergency plans can maximize response times and minimize the impacts to employees and your facility in the event of an emergency. 

Once you have created your emergency action plan, there are four other ways to ensure that your facility and your employees are prepared for an emergency.  By considering these items, you can protect your business.

1.    Mitigate facility/site conditions: Often, there are conditions that exist in your site or facility that could impact safety or a successful response.  Your facility operations manager should conduct regular site inspections to eliminate any posed risks that exist which could cause harm to employees, the environment or infrastructure. 

2.    Conduct regular risk assessments: Once potential threats are determined; actions can be taken to minimize their impact or possibly eliminate the risk of an emergency. 

3.    Emergency Response Training: Regular emergency response training is crucial so that all employees and staff know what to do in the event of an emergency. Training should include reviewing the response plan and making sure that all employees are familiar with it, identifying the roles and responsibilities of individuals, refresher courses (if necessary), and plan review training when updates or revisions have been made to the emergency action plan.

4.    Response Drills and Exercises: Drills should be conducted not only to prepare the staff but to test the response plan and its effectiveness and any potential problems.  Employees will also understand the expectations and the procedure more effectively through regular drills.

To help your company get an effective emergency action plan in place, give HF Planners a call.  We provide Facility Planning, Management, and Design services to help you manage resources and meet your organization’s goals for its facilities. HF Planners, LLC has a proven record of successfully completing projects of all sizes for well-known companies across major industries. We would like the opportunity to work with you!

How to create an evacuation procedure

Every workplace or facility needs to have an emergency action plan in place which will ensure employee safety in the event of a fire or other emergency. According to OSHA, not all employers are required to establish an emergency evacuation plan/evacuation procedure, but it is a fairly easy task to accomplish and will protect your employees and your business if an emergency situation should arise.  As you work to create your plan, keep these things in mind:

  1. Include your management team and employees in the establishment of the plan.  The goal is to protect lives and property in an emergency event, so it is beneficial to include management and staff in the process because their commitment and support to the plan is a critical component to its successful implementation.

  2. Include a wide variety of potential emergencies. As you consider your plan, it should be specific to the types of potential emergencies that could occur in your facility.  A hazard assessment should also be conducted to determine the types of physical/chemical hazards that exist and could cause an emergency situation. If there are multiple buildings in your facility, each one should have a plan tailored to their needs.

  3. Your plan, at a minimum, should include: an evacuation policy/procedure and route assignments (i.e., floor plans, workplace maps and safe or refuge areas).

  4. An organized plan is critical. Disorganization during an evacuation could lead to panic, property damage, injuries or even death. When developing your plan, it should include the following:

○     Conditions that would require an evacuation

○     A clear and direct chain of command--who are the people authorized in your company to order an evacuation or shutdown. 

○     Specific procedures for evacuation.  Employees should know exactly what to do, the route they will take and how to safely exit the building.  These procedures need to be posted where all employees can see them.

○     A system for accounting for personnel after an emergency

○     Procedures in place to assist employees with disabilities

5.  Have more than one evacuation route.  All plans should include primary and secondary evacuation routes and exits.  Exits should be clearly marked, well lit, wide enough to cover a large number of personnel

 To ensure the safety of your employees and your business, creating a thorough and organized emergency action plan/evacuation procedure is critical.  At HF planners, we care about your safety and can help you put an emergency action plan in place, give us a call today!

New Standard to Help Facility Managers Prepare

Facility managers are tasked with the responsibility of preparing employees and occupants of their facilities for the unexpected. Keeping your employees safe during a crisis starts well before the situation starts.  Planning, communication and organization will be the reason that resources and lives are saved. 

The new standard includes requirements for high-risk facilities. For facility managers, the efforts required to adhere to the standard should be minimal if the facility has a comprehensive and up-to-date all-hazards risk assessment, emergency response plan, or business continuity plan. 

For more information on the new standard :

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