How to Design a Multigenerational Office Space in Kansas

How to Design a Multigenerational Office Space in Kansas

In today’s office space, it is common to have multiple generations working side by side—an experience that can be both fruitful and challenging. Because of these generational gaps and differences in preferences, business owners are having to factor this dynamic into their choice and design of an office space. Here are a few things to know about generational office space preferences and how to find or design a space in which all employees can thrive, as described in the article “All Together Now: Designing an Office for Different Generations”:

Changes Through Generations 

Baby Boomers working in the 1980s preferred a more formal and structured office layout, and as a lot of this generation is still in the workforce, it is important to consider their needs. Later decades ushered in a shift towards personal technology, flexibility, and less of a defined hierarchy in a space. Even more recent trends have placing emphasis on the importance of design and how workers interact with a space, with trends leading towards more spatial openness, culminating in the Millennial mentality of offices becoming a hub of collaboration, technology, and flexibility.

Accommodating Several Generations in an Office Space

One of the best ways to accommodate all of these different trends and preferences is to allow people to have space that they can personalize. Younger generations tend to feel the need to brand their space and make it their own, whereas older generations prefer a less personal, more corporate setting.

Office Space Design Trends

One of the practical factors to be considered when trying to create an environment suitable for multiple generations is the physical layout of the office—cubicles or open space with tables? Coffee bars or conference rooms? The things that most businesses are looking for are spaces that can be multi-purpose—meeting rooms that can transform into yoga studios during lunch. Having a space with a lot of options and different purposes can allow for both community and privacy, meeting the needs of various generations and personality types.

If you’re moving into a new office space and your business employees people of different generations, think about how you can design a space that best maximizes the comfort and the potential for collaboration between all employees!

Looking to calculate your square footage needs for an office space in Kansas City? Give us a call at 913-685-4100 so we can help you find a space that best fits your business’s needs!


Checklist for Assessing an Office Space in Kansas City

Checklist for Assessing an Office Space in Kansas City

Once you have found a few office spaces to seriously consider, there are a few things you should look into before going any further in the process. Here are some suggested items to put on your checklist, as outlined in the article HOW TO: Choose the Right Office Space”:

  1. Space and layout. Take the time to lay out a mock version of how you would want your office space to work. Does your design work in this particular space? This exercise serves the dual purpose helping you evaluate whether this will be enough space and visualize how you will actually operate in a space – how you will divide it, how it might need to be modified, and how it fits the style of your business.
  2. Room for expansion. If you anticipate growth during the term of your lease, it is important to talk to the landlord about what your expansion options are in the event that you outgrow your original space.
  3. Decorations and modifications. Find out in advance how much you can do with the space, both in terms of bigger build-outs and simple decor choices, such as painting the space or putting things on the walls.
  4. Sound. It seems oddly specific, but be sure to check out the acoustics of a space, both whether it is too echoey inside and what kind of outside noise seeps in.

Make sure to make and use a checklist to really evaluate a space before you sign a lease!

If your business wants to calculate square footage needs, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100 for some help!


Choosing a Location for Your Office Space in Kansas City

Choosing a suitable location is a critical component of setting up your small business in its first official office space. Your location has a major impact on your business, so it is important to carefully consider several factors and work with a commercial real estate agent who knows the area when you are choosing an office space. Here are a few suggestions for points to think about when deciding on an office rental property, as suggested in the article “How to Find & Lease Office Space”:

#1 Choose a location based on your needs.

If you are a legal firm, for example, and you know that you will be regularly visiting the city’s courthouse, finding a space near the courthouse could be a huge time saver for you. Think about what your business needs and the places you will need access to—you might get lucky and find a great space in a convenient area.

#2 Consider the commute.

Think about the employees you have or the workforce you want to draw from when you choose your location. It is important to find a location that is relatively close to them if you want to satisfy and keep those employees. Sometimes it is impossible to please everybody, but if you have a more central or convenient option, this might be a big bonus for both your employees and your clients/customers. Another thing to think about is whether the space is near a major highway or public transportation. Whether highways or public transport is more of a priority depends on your kind of business, the accessibility of public transport in your city, and the availability of parking spaces.

#3 Locate in a good environment.

Another thing to consider is whether the businesses in the area are compatible with your business. Some good things to have nearby are restaurants, cafes, or fitness centers where your employees can get away for a little while during lunch. Proximity to these kinds of businesses means that your employees won’t feel rushed and stressed during their lunch breaks.

Location is hugely important to small businesses, not only for attracting clients, but also for taking care of your business’s and employees’ needs.

If your business is looking into commercial space for lease in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Kansas City, located in the heart of Johnson County and surrounded by all of the resources the area has to offer: restaurants, coffee shops, health clubs, and more!


3 Ways to Motivate Employees in Your Office Space in Kansas City by Challenging Them

As someone responsible for a group of employees, figuring out how to engage and motivate them can be a difficult task. Often companies approach this by increasing social events or perks such as free meals, but some studies have suggested that employees are most satisfied with their work when they are being challenged to actually use their skills and abilities. Here are a few suggestions for ways to challenge employees who are itching for a new problem to solve, as suggested in the article “Want to Make Your Employees Happy? Ask Them to Do Something Hard”:

#1 Expand their current work. Don’t overload your employees with a bunch of new and different tasks, instead assign them more complex work that builds on the work that they are already doing.

#2 Apply their experience in new ways. You might also challenge them to step a little outside of their comfort zone by bringing their skills and experience to a related but different area. They might bring a fresh perspective and enjoy working with a new problem.

#3 Challenge them with the unfamiliar. If an employee is really looking for a challenge and is prepared to handle it, consider putting them to work on something that they are entirely unfamiliar with, but you know they will be capable of working through. An employee who really wants to grow might be grateful for the opportunity to expand their skill set.

A big part of successfully challenging employees is knowing their interests and boundaries, but if correctly done, these kinds of challenges can be rewarding for you and your staff!

If your business is interested in commercial realty in Kansas City, give Kathy Woodward at DDI Commercial a call at 913-685-4100!


Four Potential Cons of Joining a Co-working Office Space in Kansas City

There are a lot of benefits to renting a co-working space, especially for startup companies, including the connections you can make, the money can save, and the overall solidarity and creative energy of a collaborative environment. However, you should also be aware of the cons of this option as well. They might not be so detrimental as to prevent you from pursuing this option, but it is important to be prepared and decide in advance how you will handle these potential downsides. Here are a few factors to consider, as suggested in the article “The Reasons For and Against Joining a Co-Working Space”:

#1 Cost

Despite the fact that the cost of a co-working space is less than that of an actual lease, this option can still be expensive, especially for entrepreneurs trying to pinch pennies as they get their business off the ground. Carefully consider your monthly expenses and what will be most cost efficient for your business in the long run before signing up for space.

#2 Disputes

When you’re sharing space with people from other companies, conflicts can sometimes be an unavoidable part of work life. Ideally, you will find group that meshes well together, but if you do have conflicts within your space it is important to make an effort to be polite and mature in seeking resolutions.

#3 Proximity to Competitors

You might find yourself in the occasionally uncomfortable situation of working with a direct competitor. If this happens, just stay focused on your own work. Ideally, you could even turn a competitor to someone you can collaborate with if you are both like-minded and headed in the same direction.

#4 Social Distractions

While collaborative environments can have great energy, they can also potentially be distracting if too much socializing takes the place of productivity. Focus on only socializing during breaks, and consider a change of scenery if you find yourself too easily pulled from your work.

There are a lot of benefits to joining a co-working space, but it is also important to bear in mind that there are downsides. If you go into a co-working space fully aware of that pros and cons awaiting you, you can be more prepared to take advantage of the benefits and avoid the pitfalls.

If your business is interested in commercial space for lease in Kansas City, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-9100.


Spring Cleaning Your Technology in Your Office Space in Kansas City

When you’re thinking about “spring cleaning” this year, remember that this can also extend to your technology in your office! Here are a few suggestions for how to overhaul your office technology this spring, as suggested in the article “Spring Cleaning Your Office”:

  • If your laptops have become outdated, consider switching to tablets to increase mobility and save space.
  • If you cannot get rid of a laptop or desktop, consider investing in an ergonomic keyboard to alleviate wrist strain when typing.
  • Go green with your outdated technology by recycling the items you no longer need, such as ink cartridges, monitors, and printers.
  • Literally clean up your technology by wiping down all of the surfaces and blowing the dust out of keyboards and cracks.
  • Clean up your desktop itself by getting rid of apps you no longer need. You might also consider making sure that everything is backed up and have a recovery plan in place.

Don’t forget about your technology – cleaning, updating, and even recycling it – as you do your spring cleaning this year!

If your business is looking into commercial realty in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our executive office rental in Overland Park!


3 Ways to Stay on Top of Emails in Your Office Space in Kansas City

The amount of time the modern office worker spends sifting through e-mails is astounding. Workers can spend a significant portion of their workday trying to read and respond to e-mails, with people in management positions having to deal with hundreds or thousands of e-mails on a daily basis – research suggests that one fourth of the average workday is spent on emails alone, the second biggest time commitment next to an employees actual job specific duties. E-mail can be a great way to communicate with clients, coworkers, or employees, but it can also become a very real drain on a person’s time and energy. Here are three suggestions for staying in control of your inbox, as suggested in the article “4 Tips to Better Manage Your Email Inbox”:

#1 Timing is Everything

Effective time management is the best way to keep your inbox from overwhelming you. The first step in taking control of the time you spend on your e-mail is setting aside specific periods throughout the day to check e-mail. The amount of time you spend on each e-mail checking session and the frequency of these sessions will vary depending on your business style. Some people like to limit themselves to just two or three times a day, but some entrepreneurs find it more effective to check e-mail every hour or even every 15 minutes.

Whatever your limits are, consider really enforcing these for yourself by exiting out of your e-mail program for most of the day, shutting off alerts and beeps from incoming messages, or even turning off your cell phone for certain chunks of time. You can also create an automated response that lets people trying to contact you know exactly when you will be checking your e-mail during the day and offering them a phone number to call if their issue is urgent.

Not only is it important to schedule your e-mail checking times, but also to really be productive during those periods. This means dealing with e-mails immediately as they come into your inbox. Try to make fast decisions and take action instead of postponing issues until another day. If you cannot respond right at that moment at least send the person a message letting them know you’ve received to their e-mail and you are working on providing an answer. Then add the task to a to do list or calendar and set a deadline for yourself to follow up with the person.

#2 Isolate What is Important

Promotional e-mails or spam can really clutter an inbox. Every now and then take the time to unsubscribe from newsletters or advertisements that you do not look at. You can even simplify this process by searching your inbox for the word “unsubscribe” and then sorting through those search results to see what you can eliminate.

In addition to occasionally unsubscribing from mass e-mails, you should also scan through your e-mails as soon as you open your inbox to determine what is important out of that batch of new messages. Delete anything that is spam or unnecessary, scan and archived e-mails that do not require a response, and then you will be at a point where you can better evaluate the tasks you really need to tackle. Remember that if an e-mail is important it should not sit unread in your inbox for days at a time.

#3 Stay Organized 

While it is good to consistently delete or archive e-mails, there are probably still many messages you will want to keep. It is a good idea to keep track of important communications with clients or fellow employees in case you need to refer back to them later to clarify an issue. Keep these old e-mails organized by taking advantage of labels, categories, and folders in your e-mail program. Group messages just like you would any other files so that you can easily locate E-mails about a specific topic or aspect of your job if necessary. You can put these folders into even broader categories labeled clients, finances, or projects. In addition to taking advantage of folders and subfolders, also be sure to mark your e-mails according to importance so that you can easily find high-priority messages when you need them.

If you have been feeling overwhelmed by the emails you deal with on a daily basis, consider stepping back to evaluate a better strategy for handling your correspondence. Setting a schedule for yourself, addressing things according to importance, and keeping your inbox organized might help you limit the amount of your workday spent on e-mail.

If your business is interested in office rental space in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about office lease rates in Kansas City.


3 Essential Things You Need When Renting Your First Office Space in Kansas City

Regardless of what kind of space you’re looking for, if you want to rent an office space for the first time there are a few things to keep in mind, starting with the fact that the landlord is renting out the space for the purpose of making money. This means that you as a potential tenant need to both convince them that you’re a reliable business to lease to and also look after your own interests during negotiations. Be ready to answer the landlord’s tough questions and prepare yourself for the whole process by considering a the following factors, as suggested in the article “Steps to Secure Your First Commercial Space”:

#1 A Business Plan

Having a solid business plan to show a landlord is especially important for new companies who can’t provide a history of financial statements to show their credit worthiness. Think of showing a business plan to landlord as similar to pitching your company to investors. A landlord is also taking a risk and making an investment in the success of your business, so it is important to give them a clear, realistic, but hopefully positive outline of where your business is headed. If your company is simply relocating, try to supply the landlord with information about your rental history and previous budget plans to show that you are a financially stable tenant.

#2 An Agent

While it is possible to rent a space without an agent, an agent can be extremely helpful, particularly for new businesses who don’t have a lot of experience with the commercial real estate market. It is important to select an agent who will work with you throughout the entire process and who is representing only your interest and not acting as an agent for both you and the landlord. Remember that the listing agent named on the property’s advertisement was hired to work for the best interests of the landlord. One advantage of working with an agent is that they know the markets and can give you an idea of fair rental rate in that area. They can also help you during negotiations, which could save your company a significant amount of money in the long run, and they are also familiar with the language of leases, so they understand what will benefit or potentially hurt your company. If the landlord pays for your agent, as is almost always the case, there is very little downside to working with an agent.

#3 An Exit Strategy 

Although it’s not the most pleasant thing to think about, just as you have an exit strategy for your business you should also have an exit strategy for your lease that is factored into your lease negotiations. If you’re working with a good agent, they should be able to help you negotiate for certain provisions that will make it easier to get out of the lease if absolutely necessary. Some of these provisions include a sublease or assignment clause, or an early termination clause. This aspect of renting a space can be difficult to navigate and absolutely must be taken care of before signing the lease, so strongly consider consulting with an agent as you form your exit plan.

A favorable lease is so important, particularly for small businesses just starting out in their first rental space. If you don’t have a lot of experience with the commercial real estate market, it is important to prepare yourself for negotiations by having a business plan and exit strategy ready, preferably with help from an agent.

If your business is considering a small office lease in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to learn more about our affordable office space in Kansas City.


Messages Color Can Send About Your Office Space in Kansas City

The idea that color can have a positive effect on mood is not a new concept. Here are a few ways that the colors and hues of your office can send positive messages, as suggested in the article “Transform Your Workspace With Color”:

Fiery Colors

Using small amounts of warm, bright colors such as red or orange can energize a space. These colors are great for areas where employees are not actually working, such as hallways, kitchen spaces, or bathrooms. A small amount of red can raise the heart rate, but too much can promote stress and aggression.

Cool Colors

Cool colors such as blue and green–ones often found in nature–have been proven to be calming. Pastels, such as lilac, can have a similar effect.They can transport people from a cramped, fluorescent workspace to a more natural environment and corresponding mood. One great way to achieve this effect is by adding plants to your office.


Yellow and other brights accents promote happiness and self-esteem. These colors are best on furniture, accent walls or other decor, because an overwhelming amount of yellow can be agitating.

If you are thinking about painting your office space, consider these ways to use color to boost the mood in your workplace!

If your business is interested in a small office lease in Kansas City, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call 913-685-4100 to set up a tour of one of our spaces!


2 Factors for Assessing a Commercial Office Space in Kansas City

2 Factors for Assessing a Commercial Office Space in Kansas City

There are two important components to consider when renting commercial real estate. Most important is the piece of property itself – the location, any necessary improvements, and the state of the buildings. The second is the lease, which encompasses the business side of the deal. Here are a few tips for weighing the pros and cons of each of these considerations, as suggested in the article “How to choose the right commercial property”:

The Property

One thing to consider is the state of the rental buildings. They might be in a very established area and highly trafficked, but if they are older buildings, they might require a lot of improvements and maintenance. Consider also whether the location is suited to your type of business. It might be important for you to be near the city center, but know that the rent will also be higher there than on the fringes of a city. For example, if you receive regular shipments you may want to be near easy highway access, or if you’re in retail you might want a location with a lot of foot traffic.

The Lease

Consider whether the type of lease offered is best for your business at this point in time. For example, a startup business will most likely want a shorter lease with options to renew, but a more stable business might want a longer lease and the benefits it offers. Make sure you understand clearly who is responsible for what costs, including maintenance, taxes, repairs and all of the other expenses associated with a commercial property. If the lease doesn’t make good business sense for your company at this time, it is wise to walk away no matter how much you like the property.

When selecting a commercial property, consider all aspects of the property in the lease. Do not hesitate to ask a lot of questions and negotiate for favorable provisions. Talk extensively with your landlord – through an attorney or commercial real estate agent if possible to get expert advice. You will be stuck with the space for at least a year or a two, so it is extremely important to make sure it’s exactly what you want.

If your business is looking at commercial MLS listings in Kansas City, give us a call at 913-685-4100 to find out more information about our affordable office space in Kansas City or to set up a tour.