Managing Your Future Leasing Liabilities with Flexible Office Space

With new leasing regulations coming on board as soon as 2019, both owners and lessors of commercial office space need to start thinking outside the box if they don’t want to be holding the bag when the ball drops.

Currently, your company’s leases – whether they be property, vehicles, or other high-value equipment – do not have to be listed as an asset on the balance sheet. With the implementation of IFRS 16, due to comes into play in 2019, all that changes.

What does this mean for my company?

IFRS 16 has the potential to increase your company’s liability in several ways, as you will suddenly see a significant jump in total assets as a result of having to recognize a right-of-use asset and a lease liability. For a new company that is trying to stay lean, this could present problems.

Having fixed office space can exacerbate this issue. What, then, is the solution?

Should I buy my office space?

If you can afford to buy your space and turn it into a permanent asset, perhaps that is an option for you. However, there are probably just as many reasons not to buy. The added expense of upkeep and the depletion of your working capital, combined with a sudden inflexibility of a fixed location might not be the best decision for you.

Consider flexible office space as a viable option. It’s cost-effective, it’s agile, and it won’t tip your balance sheet in the wrong direction.

Do I really need fixed office space at all?

With the millennial trend toward remote working, many offices remain empty for the better part of the week. If you’re not using it, the money you are investing in square footage is being wasted on an unnecessary expense. By eliminating the workstations and offices you are not using, it solves several problems: it helps you reduce your dependence on fixed office space, reduces your monthly spend, and protects you from potential liability issues from IFRS 16.

Flexible office space solves the problems that fixed office space represents. It reduces monthly expenditures and supports workforce agility and productivity. Plus, your flexible office space agreements are, well, flexible.

The Benefits of Flexible Office Spaces

By implementing a short-term philosophy, it opens you up to other options as well as keeping your physical office space off the balance sheet.

Take a good look at how and where your workforce is spending their time, and consider what a flexible office space could do for you.

In general, companies are seeing a marked increase in flexible office space. It provides them with the ability to scale along with their company’s needs and gives them on-demand access to the services they want when they need them most.

Office Suites Strategies: flexibility when you need it most

If you’ve been considering shifting to a more flexible office environment, there is no time like the present. With IFRS 16 looming, being ahead of the curve is never a bad idea. If you would like to learn more about how flexible office space can benefit businesses, contact us today.


How a coworking office design can help you retain current clientele and attract new business

In 2017, coworking is a major trend in office space design. Fueled by a growing population of millennials, remote workers, and freelancers, it’s a movement that is not going away anytime soon.

Office landlords and building owners would do well to see this as an opportunity to serve the workforce of the future – one that eschews the cubicle and opts instead for a more open, flexible environment.

A landlord’s advantages to establishing a coworking environment

As an owner of commercial real estate, you will attract more tenants by offering a flexible office environment that includes a coworking space. Some of these advantages include:

Coworking offers the opportunity for small businesses and startups to get off the ground more quickly

For a new company, the expense of establishing an office is often unrealistic, forcing young startups to work from public places or home offices in order to stay lean. By offering a coworking environment, it gives these companies the opportunity to get started, and once they are established in the building you may be able to offer them more flexible office opportunities as their need arises.

Coworking spaces create positive cash flow more quickly

A coworking environment can house more people and more companies than a standard office space, thereby maximizing your revenue per square foot.

Maintaining a coworking space can help you grow

If the coworking venture is successful, you may consider installing one in multiple locations, creating a sustainable revenue stream and helping grow your bottom line.

High-profile coworking leads to new tenants

The more populated your coworking spaces are, the more potential tenants you will be exposed to, which leads to increased revenue.

Attract Millennials with the coworking flexibility they demand

The millennial workforce demands flexibility, and they tend to shy away from traditional office environments. With a growing millennial workforce, these are the people you are catering to and your future tenants. Fulfill their coworking needs and you will always have their business.

Attract today’s top talent with convenience and ergonomics

Additional amenities like on-site retail, coffee bars, café’s, fitness centers and soft-seating lounges that can double as a workspace can also figure into the larger scheme of things. Mixed-use buildings such as these are in general more desirable to an inner-city workforce, attracting a working clientele that is within walking distance of their residence.

For the office space operator

There are also clear advantages to the office space operator in partnership with a building owner. First, startup costs can potentially be shared, and probably most importantly, it diversifies risk, minimizing the potential for failure and, by proxy, increasing the operator’s chances at obtaining seed financing.

An operator can approach a building or property owner with a proposal for coworking space that offers a split of the profits. If your location is good and your forecasts are accurate, you can promise a very attractive return in contrast to what they might make on standard office space with market-value rent.

If you are willing to foot the entire bill to equip and outfit the coworking environment, you may even be able to negotiate reduced or deferred rent in lieu of the upgrades you are making to their property. Outline the long-term advantages to partnering with you, which should detail the site improvements as well as forecasted financial gains.

Office Suites Strategies: taking your office property to new levels of success

Whether you are a landlord or an operator in search of your next conquest, a coworking space can help you achieve profitability and viability. Call today to find out how we can help drive value in today’s competitive market.



The Workplace Revolution: Key Trends that are Changing How Work Is Getting Done in 2017

As companies strive to become more cost-effective and employees are encouraged to streamline their workflows for optimum productivity, technology shares the podium with human process for the most influential drivers of innovation in workplace dynamics.

In 2017, some key trends are emerging:

Workplace trend: Mobility and workplace flexibility

Though mobile is nothing new per se, the population of mobile workers continues to grow. It is predicted that by 2020, 42% of the global workforce will be mobile, allowing workers to access information and work from wherever they like. To this end, employee-centric applications will become firmly mainstream, bringing with them a level of cost optimization that will fuel the new normal. In terms of the workplace itself, we are seeing the demise of the conventional office, largely because of the prevalence of mobile workers, and a widespread commitment to cost-reduction.

Companies with a commitment to transparency will prevail

Millennials have taught us that it’s not good to do business with a company that you don’t trust. Businesses that are fully transparent about their code of ethics, their methodologies, their hiring processes, and their values will continue to gain the public’s trust, relegating those who do not care about their people, the planet, or a worthwhile cause eating dust. Companies must support their mission through action, and constantly be aware of how their vision must change to reflect changing values. A strong commitment to transparency not only pleases customers, but it empowers employees to work harder, knowing that the company they represent is worth it.

Flexible processes usurp tech reliance

While productivity applications are not going away anytime soon, they have brought a certain sensibility into the human element: as much as we have become reliant on apps to streamline our day and help us work more efficiently, we ourselves are becoming more and more like the apps we use. These apps are based on ideal human workflows, after all, but they have started to shift the way we think on the fly, helping us to reorganize and simplify what we do every day.

Process design is a thing

There’s a new sheriff in the c-suite: the chief process officer (CPO) has entered the building. Responsible for overseeing and developing the overall approach to process design and execution, the CPO focuses on a more detailed and multi-layered approach to company-wide processes with the ultimate goal of optimizing employee engagement and productivity.

Business Intelligence (BI) to prove ROL (return on learning)

More and more companies are relying on BI data to help them make business decisions. This leads to much-improved process design and efficiency overall by helping to identify areas where performance pales in contrast to desired benchmarks. With the ability to view this data in real time, it is possible to intervene and resolve any issues before they cause too much damage.

Driving your success through innovation

Office Suites Strategies is a shared space consulting company comprised of experienced property management and shared space professionals focused on assisting property owners achieve maximum value from their real estate investments. Contact us and find out more about how we can help position your business for success.

How is Technology Impacting the Changes in Today’s Workplace?

I think most would agree, no matter what business they are involved in, that technology has changed the face of the modern office. Some of the changes were sudden, some more gradual, but most we have come to take for granted over a very short space of time. From flexible communications options, to mobile computing and “anywhere” connectivity, we depend on the convenience and enhanced collaborative tools that our tech gives us.

Staying current with tech is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses

For companies both large and small, staying up to date with the latest advances can be a challenge. It means being able to provide office workers with the tools they need to get their work done efficiently, securely, and in such a way that improves – rather than hinders – their workflow. In a shared office environment this is especially important, as members will expect the latest accommodations. Being well-acquainted with the possibilities, as well as the near-future eventualities is a must.

Regardless of how you may feel about technology in the workplace, it’s all for the greater good. Let’s look at some of the ways tech has changed the way we do things in an office environment:

Technology in the workplace impact #1: Enhanced Productivity

Technology tools, applications and networking capabilities now shape the course of our day. From the calendar and scheduling, our time management has never been more efficient. Because we have so many collaborative tools at our disposal, we spend less time locating people, having off-topic conversations, and getting answers to burning questions. Due to the immediate nature of our tech, results are also expected much more quickly. Using cloud technologies like virtual desktop, employees can access their files and the company network from anywhere, and on any device. In fact, many companies maintain a remote workforce in this way for the purposes of staying lean. Getting things done is the name of the game.

Technology in the workplace impact #2: Workforce Collaboration

Our ability to collaborate in flexible ways is on the rise, and in no small part due to the advances in communications technology. For many companies, the workforce has gone global, whether that means having a sales team in other cities, or outsourcing partners around the globe. The ubiquitous nature of the internet, combined with communications advances like Skype, and VoIP phone systems that are fully integrated with your CRM allow employees to make the most of their time, providing enhanced value to the company bottom line as well as making everybody’s lives easier. Cloud-based services like Dropbox, Microsoft Office 365, and Google simplify document sharing and collaboration, and even provide online access to software that even a few years ago would not have been possible without a significant investment. Which brings us to the next item …

Technology in the workplace impact #3: Cost Management

Workplace tech has allowed many companies to dramatically lower their costs for many essential services and tools. Software, for example, has increasingly become available on a monthly, per-user basis, eliminating the need to purchase exorbitantly expensive licenses for company-wide use. This model also pushes automatic updates, which cuts down on time spent updating by an IT professional, and ensures maximum security and efficiency. VoIP telephony has replaced legacy PBX, dramatically slashing the cost of business phone systems and services while providing full integration with many popular CRMs. Skype and Skype for Business (S4B) has tossed out the need for in-person meetings, thus helping companies save on travel expenses. Cloud storage and computing has eliminated the need to purchase and maintain on-site servers, and provides companies with the ability to scale quickly and efficiently without much fuss or added expense. Remote workforces are enabled through virtualization and cloud technology, saving on office real estate and all its related expenses.

Technology in the workplace impact #4: Heightened Security

IT security is a growing issue in 2017. The good news is that protecting your network is easier than ever. With the accessibility of cloud platforms, many IT security solutions can be deployed on-line, running in the background as you work. With automatic updates being pushed out to keep your software current, you will always have the latest security patches. Backups can be scheduled automatically, ensuring that you always have access to a “clean” copy of your systems in case anything happens.

Office Suites Strategies: helping you keep up with advancing technology trends

We understand the need to stay current with your technology to increase efficiency, enhance productivity and reduce cost. Office Suites Strategies is a leader in workspace management, and we would be delighted to have the opportunity to help you meet your operational and revenue goals. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you.

What To Look For When Considering Office Space

So, you need a place to work from. Home won’t do, the local coffee shop also won’t do, and you’re not ready to sign a 10-year lease. What now?

Luckily for you, flexible workplace options have grown in popularity in the last few years, so there is no shortage of options. Quite the contrary, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of options that you have, so how do you chose the right office space for you and your business?

At Office Suite Strategies, we always tell our clients to initially look at these 4 factors: location, price, amenities, and design.


Location, location, location. When you look at office space, you need to consider how accessible it is; via public transportation, by car, by foot, or any other means that you might use to get around. Also think about what other businesses are nearby; do you have commercial or retail stores close by? Are there restaurants? You want a location that is convenient for you but also for your clients and fellow team members.


As a business owner, you probably understand the importance of having a budget and adhering to it. With the plethora of workspace options available today, you should be able to find an option that fits your budget as well as your physical space needs. When looking at the price, consider the square footage, the services and perks that are included, and how long it will take you to commute (this plays into public transportation or gas prices). However, don’t focus only on the price–you need to also consider whether you like the space and the people in it, otherwise you might risk hindering your productivity and your overall wellness.


This is closely tied in with the previous factor. What amenities does the space offer? Kitchen storage, physical storage, gym facilities, parking spots, wifi, printing services, meeting room time, free coffee or tea. These are important factors to consider when selecting the right office space; while some providers might offer these amenities for free, others might charge for them so you would need to include them in your budget.


Workplace design today is more important than ever. From temperature, to colors, to lighting, to furniture, make sure that the office space you choose will positively impact your productivity and your wellness. Look at the space’s layout and different types of workstations. Is the design inclusive, does it allow for people to move from area to area and work effectively? Is there enough natural light coming in? Is the furniture comfortable? These questions can help you define whether the physical space will be able to satisfy your needs.

If you’d like to learn more about how to select the right workspace for you and your business, reach out to us here.

What Do Millennials Want in Their Workspace?

Millennials are the largest generation making up today’s workforce, and they have significantly disrupted the way we work and also the places we work from.

Coworking, remote working, and flexible schedules are only a few of the boundaries millennials have pushed in the last few years. And why are companies letting their boundaries be pushed? It’s simple–the war for talent. If companies want to attract the best talent and the best clients, they need to make sure that they are catering to their needs and desires, and millennials have made it a point that they place value in more than just monetary remuneration. Companies and businesses need to think about their workplace environment, their benefits, and their value proposition in order to retain their top talent.

As regards the physical workplace, what exactly are millennials looking for? What does their ideal workspace look like?

Cutting-Edge Technology

Slow monitors, slow wifi, bad audiovisuals, complicated printing systems–these will not do for a millennial. Technology should be a given, and not just any technology; it has to be state-of-the-art, revolutionary technology, or else they’ll be out the door sooner than you can shut off your computer.

For millennials, technology and productivity go hand in hand. If the tech and softwares you have available don’t meet their expectations, then they will not be able to work as efficiently and productively as they like.

Hybrid Workplace Design

There’s no one size fits all approach to workplace design–so don’t try to make it all open plan, and don’t try to make them all private offices.

Millennials value choice. So provide them with a workspace where they can choose to work from a shared area, from a private office, from a meeting room, from a break-out area, from beanbags; the important thing here is for them to have the freedom to choose where they get their work done from–and this choice will vary by task, by mood, and by time of the day.


Amenities are the cherry on top of a Sunday, if you will. These can range from offering gourmet coffee and tea, all the way to having catered food delivered, on-site laundry pickup and drop-off, or having a gym on-site or providing them with discounted gym membership.

It’s about showing them that you care about their lives–both professional and personal.

In any case, the only way to truly find out what millennials want from your space is by asking them; so include them in your decision-making process. Ask them what they want, and ask regularly; needs and demands vary greatly from time to time, and in order to retain the best, you need to be constantly anticipating what they’ll need next.

In any case, make your workplace a place where people want to be in, as opposed to have to be in.


Coworking, Now Mainstream

Last June, at the Social Workplace Conference, Karen Williamson – senior researcher, JLL -and Maciej Markowski – workplace strategist – delivered a presentation that explored the unprecedented growth of coworking and the impact it’s having on corporate real estate.

Coworking itself isn’t a new concept; it’s been around for ages, but it is just now being embraced by — freelancers, startups, entrepreneurs, and (yes) big corporate businesses. And though only a few short months ago coworking was still considered a trend, the movement has–thanks to large companies embracing these types of spaces–reached a tipping point.

According to a report by JLL, “the coworking industry makes up just 0.7 percent of the total U.S. office market, but demand is unprecedented and fueling the growth of large providers in major markets.”

Coworking is no longer a trend, it’s no longer a movement. It is now mainstream and it is dictating the way people work.

A growing industry means a more competitive market and although coworking is expected to continue to grow at a fast rate, chances are many brands and operators will either downsize or exit the marketplace.

Size and location matter. Nearly 80% of the total leased space comes from the industry’s 2 largest providers: Regus and WeWork. “A well-known brand cultivates a stronger customer base and makes it easier to capture a higher share of demand,” the report reads.

As for location, JLL emphasises how corporates look to set up as much in urban markets as they do in CBDs for recruitment and retention purposes. Which brings us to another key reason why coworking is now the norm. Coworking offers flexibility–something that the new generation of workers is demanding from employees. Where an office is located, what type of workstations they have, and the times at which these spaces can be accessed have all become a critical component of the war for talent.

Choosing the right location is essential to the success of any coworking provider. “Over the past two years, 90 percent of leasing activity in this sector has taken place in Class B and C buildings, and two-thirds of leasing activity is within urban and mixed-use submarkets that cater to today’s millennial workforce.”

What does this all mean?

It means that workspace operators that want to stay relevant need to make sure that they are building a brand that can be easily scaled, that they are setting-up their workspace solutions in prime locations, and that they have a long-term business strategy that allows them to remain resilient in an ever-changing, ever-growing market.

The State of Coworking in 2017

Deskmag released the final results of its global coworking survey in late January, 2017.

Not surprisingly, coworking continues to grow, evolve, and revolutionize. By the end of 2017, about 1,180,000 individuals will work from coworking spaces globally. A significant percentage of them will be employees of larger companies that have finally embraced the appeal and attractiveness of coworking spaces.

1,180,000 people is no small number; and neither is the number of operating coworking spaces. According to Deskmag’s survey, there will be around 13,800 coworking spaces globally by the end of the year.

Lots of spaces, lots of people, lots of time spent together.

Community is one of the most important value propositions of these spaces, so it comes as no surprise that both operators and coworking users expect to see an increase in their sense of community. Specifically, 73% of coworking members expect to expand their network and contacts through their membership.

A clear indicator of a maturing industry is that less than 29% of coworking spaces have been in existence for fewer than 12 months. For this reason, most operators are planning on expanding their footprint this year:

27% of coworking operators plan to add more desks to their space
11% plan to move to a larger location that would be able to welcome more members
39% expect to add an additional coworking location to their portfolio

A maturing industry, however, also means more and stronger competition. As coworking continues to grow and become popular in untapped markets, most coworking operators report struggling the most with attracting new members.

Additionally, though 62% of members still work from their first coworking space and 54% of them plan on staying in the same coworking space they are currently in, the latter number did drop from 65% in the previous year. This means that coworking operators will need to find a way to highlight their ‘uniqueness factor’ and make sure that their offerings are aligned with market needs and demands.

On the front end of memberships and space utilization, coworking operators are doing pretty well. 38% of coworking members use the space 5 or more times a week. However, long-term memberships aren’t as popular, with 56% of members signing up for memberships of 12 months or less.

To learn more about how OSS can help you align your coworking goals with current market needs, click here.


Best Apps for Business Owners and Their Teams

Being a part of a small business means taking on a lot of different roles. This is true for both the business owner and their team members. When you’re trying to increase productivity and organization, turning to an app might be your best solution. There are a lot of apps out there, so that’s why we’ve compiled a list of some the best ones for you and your team to try. From communication to organization to finances, we have the apps you need to help your business run smoother.


This app is great for getting your name, the name of your business, and your key team members’ names out there. This networking app allows entrepreneurs to use virtual business cards. You can trade contact information with other users by simply “bumping” your smartphones together. Never again will you have to worry about whether you brought your business cards along with you to that important conference. With this app, you and your team will always have this information on-hand and at the ready to pass along to whoever you meet.


Communication is key when it comes to running any business. Running a small business, you and your team are likely on-the-go quite often to meet with clients or business partners. This is where Slack can really help you out. It’s an instant messaging app that allows you to easily organize conversations between you and your team into public or private messages. You can also easily share files of any kind by dragging and dropping. The best part is that there’s no limit to how many users you can add to the business.



If your business requires a lot of traveling, you know how difficult it can be to keep track of all your connecting flights, getting a rental car, etc. TripIt gathers all the information in an easy to read itinerary. Simply forward all your travel emails to the app will take care of the rest. The app will also gather maps, weather updates, and directions for you to use during your travels. TripIt for Teams allows up to 10 members on a business and costs $29 a month.


It’s easy to end up with notes scattered all over the place. You jot things down quickly as you go through your work day, and later you have to dig through all your files to find it. Evernote is the best solution to this problem. It allows you sync your notes from across all mobile and desktop devices. Evernote has a team feature, which costs $12 a month to use. This is especially helpful if you and your team members are gathering notes for different aspects of a shared project. The team feature not only allows you to sync notes but comes with added team and administrative features.


Quickbooks is perfect for giving you a complete picture of your company’s financial state. It’s useful for tracking everything from your business’s sales and expenses to employee payment to unpaid invoices. It can connect to numerous accounts, including bank accounts and PayPal so all your data can be collected seamlessly. Quickbooks can also make tax season much easier on you!

There are many apps out there that are designed to help with workflow. These are only a few of them, but we find them to be the most effective for a small business team. Use any one of these apps listed above and watch your productivity, organization, and time management soar. Make life easier for you and your team and try one out.


New Year, New Ways for Businesses to Stand Out in 2017

It’s the start of the new year which means you’re likely ready to implement a new business plan. You have goals that you want to achieve this year and we want to help you reach them. That’s why we have put together these tips for the best ways to make your business stand out in 2017.

Video Marketing

Video marketing takes marketing to the next level. It humanizes your business and lets you send a message to your target audience while showing off your personality. According to this article from Digital Trends, online videos make up 60 percent of all internet traffic. This number is projected to rise to 80 percent by 2019. This means there are huge opportunities waiting for you with video marketing. So, what can you do to take advantage of this?

  • Feature staff introduction videos on your website and social media
  • Offer valuable tips and information related to your industry
  • Demo any new products, procedures, or services you offer
  • Feature customer testimonials on your website and social media

Video marketing offers a new way to connect with people and reach a broader audience. Make sure you’re using it to its fullest potential.

Social Media

Social media for your business is crucial, and most businesses have at least one social media account. It’s a great tool for reaching customers and spreading brand awareness. Social media can get noisy, though, and there are a lot of other businesses trying to gain audience attention too. So, here are some ways to make sure you’re doing everything you can to stand out!

  • Get Social! Don’t think of your social media platform as just another place to advertise. Talk to people! Send them direct messages, comment on posts, let them know you’re engaged in their customer experience.
  • Share testimonials! If someone has a great experience and leaves a comment or message telling you about it, ask if you can quote them. If you get the okay, share it! This boosts your likability. Make sure to thank the person for their kind words.
  • Keep it consistent! You want to be recognizable across all platforms. When you keep your branding consistent on all your accounts, it makes you feel more familiar and trustworthy to your potential customers.


Website Strategy

How do you drive traffic to your website? Everyone is doing content marketing these days, so it can be difficult to make yours stand out. Consider changing up what you usually do. Offer a web-seminar and make it interactive. Answer questions live and prompt your viewers to answer questions. Make sure there’s a link available before, during and after. Engaging with your customers on such a personal level is sure to drive traffic to your site. Another idea is to create infographics with current and relevant information on your industry. There are several free, easy-to-use programs available, such as Canva or GIMP, to help you create them. And don’t forget about the video marketing we mentioned earlier! With online videos receiving so much traffic, it’s a great way to bring people to your website.


Meeting people and creating relationships is a huge part in determining the success of your business. However, this doesn’t always come easily to everyone. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some ideas for making the most of your networking.

  • Ask the right questions. Get the story on your new contact – how their business started, etc. Ask them what kind of tools they use. These kinds of things help develop the relationship and help you figure out how you can be of value to them.
  • Create a reason for a follow-up. If you asked the right questions, then you’ll know how you can be of help to them. Let them know you’ll contact them again, and give a specific reason.
  • Share something memorable. When they ask about you, don’t just give a boring spiel about what you do. Open up a little more and let them really get to know you. Sharing an interesting hobby or talking about a cause you’re passionate about lets them know who you really are.


Most businesses are blogging. It’s a great form of content marketing. When you’re working to make your blogs stand out, here are a couple things to think about. Make your blogs posting consistent. It doesn’t need to be every day or even every week, but posting on a regular basis will make your blog more noticeable. So, even that once-a-month blog post is beneficial. In fact, you’re likely to be able to create better quality posts on that schedule.

When you sit down to write, think about how you can bring your personality to the page. Consider writing in a conversational manner, or write a satirical article about your area of expertise. Write something new about a popular subject. If you have theories about where you think your industry will go next, write them down! Share it with your audience. The more interesting and personable your blogs, the more your readers will remember them.

Standing out, particularly online these days can be a challenge, but when you create an online presence that cannot be ignored, you will see the difference. Don’t just utilize one of these options, but put multiple tips to work for you for the biggest impact.