Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cloud computing seminars aimed at growing small businesses

This January, the city of Miami hosted an event called ITEXPO at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The three-day expo focused on cloud computing, and was meant to help grow small- and medium-sized businesses, according to the South Florida Business Review. Local participating companies include Miami's Children's Hospital, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Barry University and the Miami Dolphins.

Cloud computing allows businesses to access data remotely. Internet applications help business professionals stay competitive in the growing technological marketplace. This, in turn, helps companies reduce their overhead, as they may no longer need in-house IT departments. Instead, businesses can work with third party support companies when needed and use cloud computing for their daily activities. 

With the reduction of overhead, small- and medium-sized businesses can invest back in their employees. Depending on the type of business, the employers can do many things to help the company grow. For example, a graphic design firm can revamp the office space to make it more collaboration-friendly. This can be accomplished with the addition of benching office workstations and an ergonomic chair at each desk. Additionally, conference rooms can be redesigned to support brainstorming and creativity by painting the walls or bringing in framed art.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Setting up your own physical therapy clinic in South Florida

Starting your own physical therapy clinic in South Florida may be challenging, but the rewards are worth the effort. All you need is a solid plan backed by thorough research and the willpower to make it a reality.

Research

Extensively studying the potential success of your clinic will help you decide if it is worth the work. Try to learn everything you can about your customers. Take a few minutes to ask yourself a few questions: How many people live in the area in which you want to set up your clinic? How many doctors in your area refer patients for physical therapy? Who will seek out your services and is that enough to make your business profitable?

Also consider the costs of starting a clinic. Real estate and payroll will be the two biggest business expenses. Determine an accurate estimation of the cost of your facility, all the necessary equipment, workers' salaries and marketing.

Define your market

A common mistake young entrepreneurs make is failing to specialize and focus on a subgroup within their industry. When you start your physical therapy clinic, look at the market's needs. What niche can you fill with your particular type of physical therapy?

Develop a business plan

Once you have completed the necessary research and found your target market, you can start developing a sound business plan. Basic plans include a definition of your goals, clearly explained strategies to help you reach those goals, and how and when any investors can expect to see returns.

Hire experts

An advanced degree in physical therapy does not necessarily translate into excellent business sense. You will most likely need the help of multiple professionals to get your business up and running. Veteran business owners can direct you to recommended bankers, lawyers and public accountants. Marketing professionals know how to develop your clinic's public image and create an online and traditional media presence for your practice. Try to also find billing and technology professionals that have recommendations.

Furnishing

Once you've opened your doors, you can focus on creating a space that exudes healing and professionalism. Consider filling your office with ergonomic chairs where your employees can work in comfort. Strategically place office workstations that promote collaboration and productivity. If you have a large room available, set a conference table in it where you can hold team meetings and speak with business associates. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Miami's Lehman Subaru plans new showroom

There is good new for Subaru fans in Miami. The Lehman dealership has recently announced plans for the construction of a new showroom facility. After reporting strong sales and record growth in 2013, the franchise had decided to expand.

"This is long overdue but we are very excited about this new showroom and the opportunity for continued investment in our local community," David Smith, general manager of Lehman Subaru, said in a statement.

The addition of a new showroom space means the company will have to purchase new office furniture. Many dealerships opt for standalone stations to provide an open workspace for sales professionals and customers. Used office furniture would be appropriate in this case, because these quality desks are typically on par with many new types of equipment if sourced from a reputable dealer.

It's also important to outfit each office workstation with an ergonomic chair. This allows each employee to sit at their desk for extended periods of time without developing neck or back strains. Additionally, these seats have been known to help limit carpal tunnel issues when the user adjusts the chair to their appropriate height and angle of posture.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

How to set up a beauty salon in Miami

Owning and operating a beauty salon in Miami is a fun and rewarding. Many residents love to get their hair styled and be pampered with manicures and pedicures. If you provide excellent service, are customer-friendly and professional, your beauty salon can succeed. These are the steps you will need to take to set up a your beauty business in Miami.

Find capital

Visit a local banking institution or credit union and see what type of financing is available. A representative will usually have all the information necessary for you to determine if you are eligible for a business loan. Before you speak with a representative, figure out the amount of money you will need to initially run your salon. Consider monthly expenses like rent, licensing, payroll and supplies. Determine how much services like hair cuts, coloring and manicures will cost. Try to be as accurate as possible so your loan covers most of the operational costs.

Get a business license

You will need to do research and complete all the necessary paperwork to set up a salon. Begin with state and local departments like the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. A state application has to be submitted for a change of location, name and ownership. These changes will void any previous licenses connected to the salon. You will need to ensure that your business complies with all sanitary and safety requirements. Expect a state representative to come in and inspect the condition of the building, supplies and other features of your business. Make sure you are able to pay all application fees associated with the licensure process.

Choose a location

A real estate agent that comes with recommendations can be a great asset while you try to find the perfect location for your salon. Determine if it is within your budget to own the space outright or if it makes better business sense to lease.

Furnishing

After you've set up the location, acquired all the necessary paperwork and passed all the safety and sanitary assessments, you can start filling your salon with appropriate furniture. Nail technicians can use standard office workstations to set up their polishes, cleaning agents and tools, and ergonomic chairs will keep them comfortable while working with clients. Once you build a team of hair stylists, cosmetologists and other professionals, consider acquiring a conference table where you can discuss business strategies and policies. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Creating welcoming, healing spaces in South Florida hospitals

Many people that live in the South Florida region will say that they have some of the best health care services available anywhere in the world. The University of Miami Hospital, Baptist Hospital in Miami and Mount Sinai Medical Center are just a few of the nationally ranked facilities in South Florida that feature some of the best health care services in America. Here are some ways that these hospitals are creating welcoming environments that help the healing process.

Mobile app-controlled patient rooms

In the past, people would arrive at hospitals and staff would then administer care. Today, hospitals strive to make patients more comfortable and even accountable for their own care. MyKaiser is a mobile application from Gresham, Smith and Partners. It acts as a room control interface and communication tool that patients can use throughout their stay at a hospital. The app allows patients to adjust room temperature, switch television channels and even change the artwork on an interactive LED display.

Digital imaging wall coverings

There are some hospital rooms that have no windows. Images of natural settings or fractal patterns can help lower patients' blood pressure and level of anxiety. Some companies have created ways to combine architecture and healing. Maharam Digital Products produces large-scale prints and wall installations for multiple hospitals. These coverings feature latex-reinforced polymers that create vibrant abstract patterns or natural scenes from world-renowned artists, illustrators and photographers.

Magnetic markerglass

State-of-the-art health care designs foster patient involvement in their own healing process. There are some hospitals that create a space where doctors, staff, patients and visitors can congregate. Sofas, chairs and tables are strategically placed throughout public spaces. To add to the feeling of community, Skyline Designs developed Vitracolor Magnetic Markerglass walls. These surfaces allow clients and staff to write thoughtful messages and well-wishes with marking pens. Parts of the glass are magnetized so paper items can be hung as well.

Office furniture

With the highly advanced technology within these hospitals, it's easy to forget about filling your hospital offices with essential, sturdy and reliable office furniture. Staff and administrators can use custom office workstations that facilitate collaboration, encourage teamwork and increase the level of productivity. These workstations can also have ergonomic chairs that provide comfort during working hours or break time. Department executives should install conference tables that can be used to conduct business meetings or discuss operational strategies with a team.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Team building advice from a professional

In the modern workplace, it is not enough to have skilled employees - How the employees interact with each other to support the company as a whole is just as important. Founder and chief executive officer of Optime Consulting Maria Merce Martin wrote an article in the South Florida Business Journal revealing how she engages her team.

"Our team is where computer science expertise, sales, marketing, creativity, and passion join in web development, graphic design and automated marketing solutions that show measurable return on investment," Martin wrote in the South Florida Business Review. "Employee engagement hugely impacts this success, but it wasn't created overnight."

She offers up a few strategies to help with team building:

Company mantra

On face value, a company mantra may seem old-fashioned and forced. You put some thought into your messaging, however, you can find a phrase that will really support the team. Martin reveals her company's mantra as "We Love Details." This helps employees remember to focus on the small parts of the business as well as the large.

Training tools

It's also important to invest in people by offering them training tools. Whether it is something that will help them get better at a specific skill or to line their resume, you should offer periodic workshops or seminars. It helps improve employee morale if they feel like they are an asset to the team because they learned a new skill. The example Martin gives is a creative one. Since her company recently launched a Brazil branch, she offered in-house Portuguese lessons so employees can learn the new language together. This, in turn, helped her team connect with each other because of the shared experience.

Creative environment

To support teamwork and creativity you should have an organized and open office space. This starts with benching office workstations that let employees interact with each other. Additionally, there should be supportive seating options like ergonomic chairs at each desk. These seats are not only comfortable, they adjust to the height and posture of each user to help limit neck and back strains.

Technological resources

Be sure your workspace is equipped with the latest technology. This not only supports the workers, it lets them excel to the best of their abilities. For example, if you provide your team of mobile workers with tablet devices they will be able to interact with each other while completing their work on the go.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Create a welcoming environment at your travel agency

Travel agencies may soon be in short supply, as more and more people are choosing to book their plane and lodging accommodations through online platforms. In order for you to remain profitable, you should revamp your agency to provide a welcoming environment for customers. Here are some tips to do just that:

Branding

You should do your best to incorporate your brand into the design of the office without overdoing it. Commercial companies often lack the personal vibe that many small companies have, so paint the walls a color that corresponds with your logo. Instead of printing your logo on a poster from a copy store, create a mural on a wall with your company motif incorporated throughout.

Office furniture

You'll also need a lounge space for guests to relax in while you are preparing their travel documents. Be sure you have comfortable sofas and task chairs. Additionally, offer each person coffee, tea or water once they arrive.

Benching workstations - If you have a large office, you'll need benching workstations, which fit many employees in a small space. You should also outfit each desk with an ergonomic chair so each worker is comfortable.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Speed is key in the Miami real estate market

With the boom of interest in the Miami real estate market, it isn't surprising that speed is important to people working in the industry. According to the Daily Business Review, it's important for real estate investors in the area to execute deals and close transactions quickly. You may know the adage, "Time is money," yet some believe that time can actually be more valuable than money. 

"They're trying to compete with other developers, and whoever gets to close first gets to sell first," Lucia Dougherty, co-chair of the land use practice at Miami's Greenberg Traurig.

Getting a new business off the ground and running takes a good game plan. Entrepreneurs need to source their equipment from reputable sources and at a great price. For example, some businesses need cubicle workstations and they could be purchased as used office furniture. An ergonomic chair is important as well, and whether new or used, it should be adjustable to provide a comfortable seat for its user.

Visit an office furniture showroom to see what office workstations they have in stock. You might need a contemporary benching type of workstation or something more traditional, like a wood desk for a private office.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to minimize shrinkage with organized warehouse management

Shrinkage is a problem many retail establishments face. However, if you have an organized storage system you can lower shrinkage caused by lost goods and documentation problems.

Computerize your inventory system

With the wealth of computer-based inventory applications available, keeping paper records may seem increasingly antiquated. With the help of technology, you have an easy way of checking how many goods you have on hand and seeing if that number correlates with what was bought and sold. Additionally, you won't need to deal with human error accounting problems.

Smart filing system

Eliminate paperwork issues with a smart storage system. Purchase a variety of horizontal and vertical filing cabinets to house all of your important documents. You may even want to dedicate an entire room to storage for security reasons.

Ergonomic seating

Employees should also have an ergonomic chair that supports the back and neck. Though the correlation may be less obvious, employees that feel energized throughout the day are less likely to make mistakes or oversights that may lead to shrinkage, such as misplacing a piece of inventory.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

How to set up a hotel management office

South Florida brings in people from around the world. Europeans come for the tourist attractions; Latin Americans come to see the towns that share their culture; even citizens from other states like to visit the region because it is known for its vivacity and luxurious style of living. A city like Miami has plenty of hotels to accommodate the influx of visitors. However, some locations  don't have a professional management team to make sure the hotel's daily operations run smoothly. A full-scale hotel business will also need several layers of supervision, which you can provide. Here are a few tips to help you set up a hotel management office in the region.

Build your reputation

The hotel industry is one that relies on people and relationships. Before you begin doing business with anyone, you need to create a reputation and have a number of people you can call on to help you acquire those first management contracts. You can build your list of contacts by actively participating in national and statewide hotel associations and conferences. Also consider joining franchisee and advisory boards that focus on volunteer activities within the industry. Attend symposiums, sit on panels and serve on committees. This will help you create a network of colleagues and contacts.

Build a base

Cash flow is an important aspect of any enterprise. If you have the ability to start your business with a few contracts in hand, you are off to a great start. Focus your attention on your existing clients and serve them well in every possible way. At the same time, you should never forget to seek out new business.

Carve out a niche

Specializing in the hotel management market will help you stand out in a sea of firms. You should consider building your expertise around a niche like managing mid-priced hotels. Conversely, you can develop a reputation for running successful full-scale resorts. Whatever the case may be, consider focusing on a specialty when you try to acquire new business.

Furnishing

Now that you have spread your good name across the South Florida region, have built a solid business base that you can rely on and created a brand that delivers services only you can provide, you can focus on stocking your location with quality office furniture. Think about setting up your teams in custom office workstations that are known to boost creativity and productivity. Sit them in ergonomic chairs to keep them comfortable throughout the day. Provide a conference table in a large room where you can hold business meetings or discuss business strategies with your team.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

PayPal sponsors tech meetup in Wynwood Arts District

PayPal is sponsoring a monthly tech meetup called The Commerce Factory, according to the South Florida Business Review. The events will take place at The LAB Miami in the Wynwood Arts District, which is home to a variety of showrooms and gallery space.

The first event was hosted by Vaughn Shinall of tech firm Temboo. He talked about the emerging electronic circuit board technology Arduino.

The LAB Miami is a shared workspace that hosts workshops for entrepreneurs and other business-minded people. Co-working spaces like this often have an open layout floor plan, with different working environments scattered throughout the space. For example, one part of the office might have benching office workstations for independent work and another will have a cafe-inspired lounge area. This helps the range of business professionals get their work done in a way that adapts to their personal preferences.

Additionally, the shared workspaces are equipped with Wi-Fi and some even have conference tables for meetings. It's also important for each workstation to have ergonomic chairs so each person is comfortable and has a seat that supports good posture.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Office inspiration from South Florida entrepreneurs

The South Florida business community is booming with innovation and startup enterprises. The entrepreneurial spirit thrives here partly because of the numerous opportunities available for people who want to work for themselves. Men and women begin in simple office workstations and go on to create successful companies. In addition to being a region full of entrepreneurs, the people in South Florida come from many different ethnicities and cultures and have a wide variety of interests that caters to small businesses. Here are some inspirational stories of entrepreneurs making it in South Florida: 

Gun Girls Inc. - Boca Raton resident Susan Kushlin loves creating fashionable clothing and accessories. She is also passionate about her guns. She put the two loves in her life together to create a women's fashion line that is affordable, stylish and fun for firearm enthusiasts. Bullet bracelets, belts, and gun-range worthy jeans and shirts are all a part of her business, Gun Girls Inc.

Periodic Products - Before his biotech company became known for its green policies, Joseph Laurino was working as a medical device inventor and teaching chemistry at multiple universities. Today, Laurino's business, Periodic Products, operates in Fort Lauderdale and develops environmentally-friendly pool cleaning supplies. The company's first product, CuLator, was named one of the top 50 products of 2012 by Pool & Spa News.

SecondOpinons.com - Another Fort Lauderdale resident, radiologist Michael Yuz, founded a medical consultation service that connects board-certified physicians to patients that are seeking alternative medical diagnoses. People across the country use his services to get in touch with world-class doctors and receive expert analysis of test results. The combined knowledge of dozens of physicians is just a few touches on a computer keyboard away.

Ankit - Ankit Jain's company has been in business for only three years. But now Ankit has become a successful headphone and iPhone case supplier to more than 5,000 retailers including Forever 21, Hot Topic and Wet Seal. Jain sold almost one million units in 2013 and projects sales to double in 2014.

All these people had the entrepreneurial spirit . Another thing they all have in common is the need for office furniture. Startups and small business need to save money when launching their enterprise, but also have to ensure professionalism and comfort for employees. Conference tables are necessary for strategic team meetings. Custom office workstations and ergonomic chairs are also essential to office productivity.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Layout and furniture tips for a health care clinic

As the times change and technology advances, health care clinics must be updated so that they offer the latest equipment to patients. Additionally, remodeling will be necessary from time to time in order to work in the latest design trends that help make people more comfortable.

Last year, the Mayo Clinic revamped its rooms. After observing how patients and doctors interacted in their outpatient clinic, the organization developed Jack and Jill rooms. The clinic realized that only a portion of time spent in the room was for physical exams. However, there were many medical tools housed in the space that researchers felt limited communication between the health care provider and patient.

The Jack and Jill rooms have two conversation spaces on each side of the exam area.

"Physicians like having a place to talk to patients where they can see the monitor and include family members," reads the Mayo Clinic's Center for Innovation Design Thinking page. "Physicians also found that having an exam room without the couch desk allowed the bed and tools to be rearranged, making the physical exam easier for them. And the increase in conversation rooms allows for more patient visits."

Small changes like what was done at the Mayo Clinic can be beneficial to the relationship between physicians and patients. Here are some other tips to organize a health care clinic:

Chairs

Even if a health care clinic adopts the Jack and Jill room model, what you put inside them is also important. For example, the guest chairs need to be plush so patients and their family members are comfortable during their visit.

Desks

When revamping an inpatient room, you need to think of the long term. Patients may stay at the hospital for a week or longer, so they should have their basic needs met. Sometimes they or their family members need to get work done, so a writing surface is important as well. When revamping the administrative wing, consider adding benching office workstations to save space and allow employees to communicate easily.

Couches

It's also a good idea for there to be some form of lounge furniture in patient rooms, like a sofa or arm chair. This helps make a hospital stay less of a burden and more of a relaxing experience.

Color

Color does wonders to give people energy and keep their spirits up. So instead of choosing gray or beige tones, incorporate vibrant hues into the design. Green is a vitalizing color and can be utilized through either potted plants or a wall color.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Should real estate agents open an office or work from home?

With Miami's real estate market booming, agents will have their hands full this year. As realtors look to the future, some are rethinking their workplace setup, and a question is being posed: Should I work from home or the office?

Realtors are finding that traditional office layouts are good in some situations and unnecessary in others. It's best to ask yourself a few questions to determine whether or not an office is best for your firm or for you as an individual.

Is your overhead high?

Many large companies are reducing the size of their workplaces because of the high overhead expenses it takes to operate a full size office. Many real estate agents work primarily in the field, so their desks aren't always being used. Additionally, you can reduce the cost of fuel reimbursement by allowing your agents to work out of the office.

Do you have a large conference room?

One of the objections to eliminating a traditional office space is that it limits human interaction. One way to overcome this challenge is to have a place where agents can mix and mingle as they please, like an open conference room. Just equip the space with a large table and plenty of task chairs. Additionally, the lounge area is a good place for your agents to meet and connect.

Do you meet many clients in the office?

Another question deals with whether or not you see the bulk of your clients in the office. People expect a certain level of professionalism, so meeting in a cafe or at your home could potentially turn away some homebuyers. If the success of your business is contingent on having a centrally located place to work, then stick to your office workstation.

In contrast, some agents meet clients at their home or outside the office anyway, and continuing to do so won't impact their business. In that case, set up a home-based workspace. 

Do you have room for a home office?

Ask yourself if you have ample room for a home office. The most ideal situation is dedicating an entire room to your business. But not everyone has the necessary space to make that a reality. Instead, carve out a corner in your home to put a desk and an ergonomic chair, and work from home part time to see if the setup works for you. When shopping, opt for used office furniture because it allows you to save money.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Coral Gables to host commercial real estate conference

The Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) organization is hosting a conference on Jan. 22. The event will take place at the Coral Gables Country Club and will cover South Florida's economic forecast for 2014.

The outlook conference will host a variety of speakers including the keynote, Dr. Sean Snaith. He is the director of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness. A variety of other industry professionals will be on hand to talk about commercial real estate, including people from the office, industrial, retail and capital markets.

In recent months, South Florida has seen lots of development in many areas including the commercial real estate sector. If last year was any indication of the outlook, there will be many more projects to come in the next 12 months.

New developments need a variety of tools including new equipment and furniture. Many commercial retailers have a large sales floor, but the administrative space is just as important. Employers should seek out benching office workstations to build an open space layout. Additionally, ergonomic chairs are important as well because they help workers sit comfortably for extended periods.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Designing a creative workspace for a nonprofit office

Nonprofit offices are often very creative workplaces. The individuals involved with the organization must collaborate and come up with ways to fulfill their mission statement. So it's important for the workspace to support the tasks at hand.

Benching workstations

These office workstations allow people to be in close proximity to each other. This facilitates an open stream of communication between the employees. As an employer, you can choose from a variety of benching workstation setups. Some styles have desks grouped together where two or four employees can work in a section. Others have long rows of seats that are segmented for each worker.

Used office furniture

Second hand office furniture is a great option for nonprofit offices. When sourced from a reputable dealer, you can get top quality pieces to outfit your entire workspace at a fraction of the price. An ergonomic chair is an important and necessary purchase for an office space. You can get them for a discount and save room in your budget for other amenities or additional employees.

Lounge area

It's also important to create a lounge space for your workers. From time to time, people will need to take a break and unwind in a new environment. In other instances, your employees will use this space as an idea generation tool, once outfitted with colorful artwork and furniture. Be sure this space has plush chairs, comfortable sofas and multiple tables.

Conference room

If your company hosts lots of meeting, it is helpful to make sure the space supports creativity. Design the room with glass walls to help open up the space and let light inside. You can also add a whiteboard to provide a visual component to brainstorming sessions.

Color

You should incorporate color into your the office space any chance you get. Instead of white walls, paint them in a pleasing color, like blue, purple or yellow. You might also consider placing pieces of art like framed paintings and sculptures around the office.

Plants

Greenery helps people think of nature and, in turn, gives them energy. So add a few indoor plants around the office. Additionally, you can place a few small pots on people's desks.

Windows

Take advantage of Miami's vibrant landscape and expansive coastlines by selecting an office with large windows. When natural light is allowed to shine throughout the office, people feel energized and their spirits are lifted.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

15-building industrial park sold in Medley

Medley may be a small submarket in the Miami area, yet it is home to one of the largest transactions in recent times, as real estate services company CBRE recently arranged the sale of Medley East & Hialeah Gardens Industrial Parks. The portfolio consists of 15 distribution, manufacturing and warehouse buildings. In total there is 844,889 square feet included in the stretch of land, which sold for $48.75 million.

The deal closed in December and is the largest of its kind since June 2013.

"The Medley East & Hialeah Gardens portfolios represent some of the most functional institutional quality product within the in-fill submarkets in which they are located," Christian Lee, vice chairman of CBRE's Capital Markets Institutional Group, said in a statement. "Tenant demand for functional well-located product such as this continues to be very strong, as evidenced by Miami's 4.9% vacancy rate in Q3 2013, the second-lowest in the country."

The town of Medley has a mix of light-to-heavy industrial businesses within its confines. It was founded in 1949 and included 325 companies by the late 1960s. Now, this area in northwest Miami-Dade county has more than 1,100 businesses.

Business furniture

Industrial office workstations differ a bit from that of mainstream workplaces. Many buildings in Medley have a warehouse component and an administrative department. It's very important that the office portion of the workspace has the right furniture to support each employee.

Ergonomic chairs - One of the most important elements of office furniture is the seating. Ergonomic chairs are the industry standard seating option for people sitting for prolonged periods. Without these plush and adjustable chairs, employees run the risk of injuring themselves with neck and back strains. Also, it's vital for computer users to sit at their chairs comfortably so no carpal tunnel issues arise.

Workstations - Industrial businesses can benefit from traditional desks and contemporary benching workstations. If most work is done from a private office, a standalone desk is a suitable option. However, if many workers will occupy a space simultaneously, then grouped benching workstations are the best fit.

Storage - Many industrial spaces need a wide variety of storage options. For the administrative wing, metal filing cabinets will fit most needs. They come in a range of sizes and shapes including vertical and horizontal models. Additionally, the construction of the units is durable, so valuable documents will stay safe.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

GrayRobinson law firm to relocate to Downtown Miami

The Downtown Miami area is opening up its arms to the GrayRobinson law firm. GrayRobinson, a full-service corporate firm that helps Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs and developers, signed a lease for a 35,358-square-foot space in the Wells Fargo Center earlier this month.

Two Tampa-based Taylor Mathis real estate agents, Brian Gale and Ryan Holtzman, negotiated the terms of the long-term lease. The two partnered with MetLife to broker the agreement with GrayRobinson. Cresa South Florida's Barbara Liberatore Black represented the firm.  According to Gale, the location is perfect for the firm's expanding operations.

"GrayRobinson is the sixth tenant we have signed at Wells Fargo Center this year with new leases topping over 90,000 square feet," Gale said in a statement. "Wells Fargo Center, because of its location at the south side of the Brickell Bridge, has drawn a plethora of Brickell tenants across the river."

As the Downtown Miami area continues to attract businesses from across the country and the world, more office spaces will need to be filled with sturdy, functional furniture. Conference tables can be used to seat multiple team members for strategy meetings. Custom office workstations will be needed to meet the demand of growing enterprises. And to keep workers comfortable, employers will want to supply them with plenty of reliable ergonomic chairs.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Brickell's skyline to look very different in 2020

Miami's skyline around the Brickell neighborhood is projected to look very different by 2020. Brickell Magazine created a mock up of how the coastal area will appear when many of the in-progress construction projects have been completed.

The skyscrapers represent the influx of development into the neighborhood. Each structure differs in size and use, with buildings ranging from office to residential spaces. Le Parc is one of the buildings highlighted by the magazine, and will be 12 floors tall and have 128 residential units. The Brickell House with have 346 stories with 374 condos. Larger structures include Panorama Tower, a building that will be up to 85 floors tall.

These new office spaces increase the need for quality business furniture. Each company will have different needs when it comes to office workstations. Here are a few examples:

Call centers - Cubicles come in many shapes and sizes. Call centers can benefit from partitions between each employee to combat noise, particularly since each worker is on the phone for a large part of the day. To save money, employers should seek out used office workstations. They are comparable in quality to newer units and could be purchased in large lots.

Graphic design - These creative professionals need a large workstation but not much privacy. This is because they benefit from collaboration to provide inspiration. A grouped set of benching workstations would be a great option in this type of workplace.

Journalists - In new media, the bulk of the work is completed using online platforms. Employers tend to set up these professionals in long rows of benching workstations. An ergonomic chair is a necessity for this type of worker because the person is seated for extended periods of time. This chair not only provides comfort for the user, it also helps limit neck and back strains.

Information technology (IT) - Any Web-based business needs a group of IT professionals. Some hire these people for in-house work and others use third-party sources. In addition to wide workstations these workers may require extended monitor arms for their displays. Some of these firms have large server rooms that need standing wall stations so the employees can access documents while in that space. For conference rooms, there needs to be a range of audio-visual support materials like monitor and cabinet mounts.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Miami real estate outlook for 2014

Miami has a positive real estate outlook for 2014. If you look around the urban center of the city you'll see multiple cranes erected to support a variety of development projects.

Lynda Fernandez of the Miami Association of Realtors was featured on WPLG-Miami and revealed that 65 percent of the city's real estate market transactions are cash sales. This is because there are many buyers from Latin America who are used to paying up front for their properties. Additionally, there is increased competition from banks who are looking to finance the top projects in the city.

These new developments in the downtown area and other places in Miami's submarket make up commercial and residential projects. In the former, it's important for employers to furnish their new space in an economical way. Benching office workstations help save space while allowing for open layouts and collaboration, two trends that are shaping the modern workplace.

Additionally, it is important for all desks to come complete with ergonomic chairs that are designed to support those who sit for a long period of time. This is accomplished by the adjustable parts of the unit, such as the neck and backrests. These seats have been known to help limit neck and back strains while reducing carpal tunnel issues.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

How to start your own pre-owned luxury car dealership

Deciding to open a pre-owned luxury car dealership can be a financially rewarding, life-changing event. People who can afford to drive high-end cars but don't want to pay the full price will seek a good deal on a used one. Once you complete all the financial and legal paperwork, find a location, acquire inventory and furnish your office with workstations and ergonomic chairs for your employees, you can begin. Here are some tips to help you make money selling pre-owned luxury vehicles in Miami. 

Secure financing

Make a trip to your local bank or credit union and speak with a representative who knows what type of financing you can receive. Determine how much investment capital you'll require by calculating the cost of vehicle inventory. Also add in the initial operating costs for six to 12 months.

Acquire a license to sell

Complete the application paperwork required by the state of Florida and make sure that your business meets all zoning regulations for Miami. According to DMV.org, all dealership licenses must be acquired through the Florida Division of Motor Vehicles. Contact the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to obtain all the required zoning paperwork.

Find a location

Work with a real estate agent who can help you find the best locations in Miami for the right price. Decide if you want to lease or purchase your commercial space. Look for a site that has office space and an outdoor lot to display your vehicles.

Hire staff

Place an ad that says you are looking for workers. Recruit sales staff to help customers make purchases from your dealership. If you offer financing, hire a financial manager who can assist clients with loans.

Acquire inventory

Visit auctions run by local government and law enforcement. Banks also hold auctions for vehicles seized as a result of criminal activity, nonpayment or repossession. Many vehicles sold at these auctions cost well below their Kelley Blue Book value.

Furnish your office

Purchase sturdy conference tables and put them in a room where you can hold team meetings, discuss sales strategies and privately meet with potential business partners. Consider buying custom workstations and ergonomic chairs to keep your staff as comfortable as possible while they fill out paperwork or are taking a break.

Promote

Put some of your best inventory out in front of your lot to attract customers. Make your business visible to the public by placing ads in the local paper or putting flyers displaying deals near public locations like transportation hubs, marketplaces and libraries. Use the power of social media to reach a global market and boost your sales even further.

How to keep your small business New Year's resolutions

Tons of people make personal goals for the new year, but what about companies? According to a survey conducted by Constant Contact, 53 percent of small businesses make resolutions yet only 33 percent keep them. The study also revealed that, when compared to personal New Year's resolutions, 53 percent of respondents said business goals were easier to keep.

The type of New Year's resolutions run the gamut from reaching more customers to increasing social media presence. If you are the head of a small business consider adopting some goals of your own. You can break them down into quarterly goals or set loftier aspirations that will take the whole year.

Here are a few examples of goals from which many small businesses can benefit:

Motivate staff

Many employers are taking a look within and striving to make their workers happier. This is a great goal to work toward because it's important for all companies to have a strong foundation. One way to make sure your staff is satisfied is by giving them comfortable office workstations. For example, each employee that sits for a long period of time should have an ergonomic chair. This seat will help prevent neck and back strains.

Blog more

Blogging is a great way to get organic traffic to your website. Additionally, it helps spread the news about what is going on with the company. Think of your blog space as a method of speaking to current and potential customers. You should update it regularly, so assign a few people the task so no one employee feels bogged down by the extra workload. You should also have a good mix of content, such as information on product lines, customer and employee profiles and pivotal company news such as mergers or new hires.

Use resources productively

Depending on the type of company, startup expenses could be steep. So it's important to make large investments in technology where it could be utilized the most. For instance, if you have many international customers or business partners you might as well purchase a quality web camera and monitor to place in the conference room. If you want to increase your social media presence, conversely, you can allow everyone to use tablets or smart phones in the office so they can tweet, blog and post pictures to Facebook on consistent basis.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Tech firm chooses Wynwood for relocation destination

Wynwood is Miami's art district, so you may not think of it as a place for budding tech firms. However, the neighborhood is proving to be a desirable spot for companies that want to capitalize on the area's artsy vibe.

According to the South Florida Business Review, YellowPepper is moving its headquarters from Aventura to Wynwood. The mobile banking firm is also expanding by hiring 10 additional software developers.

"Wynwood is becoming the hub for creativity and tech development in Miami," Alberto Bonetti, chief operating officer at YellowPepper, told the source. "It has a really creative vibe there, and we want [the new hires] to capture that and interact with that."

Tech companies often stick to contemporary models when designing office spaces. They like to think outside of the book to offer their employees a creative place to work. Additionally, these firms often have open layouts, which allow for collaboration between employees and different departments.

Business furniture

Benching workstations - These workstations support open space environments. They can be customized to fit the needs of the office and each employee. For example, workers can sit side-by-side in a long row of desks, or enjoy more space in grouped workstations.

Ergonomic chairs - No matter how contemporary you would like your office design to be, it's important for there to be an ample amount of ergonomic chairs. These seats have adjustable backrests and neck rests. They allow each user to alter the unit to the most comfortable sitting position. Additionally, these seats have been known to limit workplace strains, including carpal tunnel issues.

Conference tables - It's important for creative companies to have a conference room. This space is not only for meetings, it should also serve as an idea generation center. It's helpful if the room is equipped with a large working surface and plush guest chairs. Also, white boards can help team members visualize the ideas of others.

Accessories - There is a variety of fixtures that can help people work more efficiently. For example, table lamps are great for providing just the right amount of light that won't interfere with other employees. Also, keyboard systems help provide a comfortable typing surface for those who use the computer for extended periods of time. Laptop stands help raise the screen to the right height.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Customizing your cubicle for a modern Miami workplace

Modern cubicles take on many shapes, and some companies prefer to think out of the box when planning a custom space for workers. For example, some are based on a round design, which is believed to support creativity. Other offices offer a cozy lounge space for work as well as play. You don't have to overhaul the space's structure completely, but it's important to think about the individual office worker and then the group as a whole to setup an effective workspace.

Whether your office is based in the artsy Design District, the business-minded MIA Airport area or the Medley submarket, you should design custom office workstations. This is especially important if you will need to source office cubicles. Purchasing this equipment in a one-size-fits-all form may hinder the creativity of your employees. Here is how to design cubicles for a modern Miami workspace:

Layout

First, think about the shape of the office workstations. All standard cubicles have walls and a desk, but when you customize your own, you get to choose the shape and placement of each feature. For instance, think about the type and number of walls you would like to choose. You can opt for cubicles with three walls, which is pretty standard, or offer employees some privacy with the fourth made from a transparent material.

You'll also want to think about the shape of the desk. Employees that conduct different forms of work, such as computer-based tasks and creative projects, will need room for the computer and keyboard, as well as free counter space.

Other employees may need to collaborate with their colleagues. You can make this simpler by opting for a large cubicle that leaves space for extra guest chairs. Chances are your company operates via multiple departments, with each person in those sections performing similar tasks. You can cater the cubicle to each group for an easy and organized way to design your office space.

It could also be helpful to offer blank wall space for a white board. This writing area can serve as a helpful note center and makes for a great spur-of-the-moment idea generation tool.

Storage

It's important for employees to feel like they have everything they need to work efficiently, and this includes storage space. Some employers don't offer their workers things as simple as a filing cabinet if they don't believe they need to house many documents in a printed form. However, some employees prefer to keep files on hand and leave the other space for personal items.

People spend so much time at the office so they need to feel "at home"  there. Some workers prefer to keep a few snacks in their desk or a crossword puzzle to work on during their break. Storage units take on many forms. Some workers can benefit from a small filing cabinet while others way need a tall bookshelf. Considering what each person needs to conduct work efficiently helps build a strong workforce. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Miami real estate market sees second straight year of growth

A slow but steady economic recovery along with pending real estate regulations may hinder some real estate markets in the U.S., but Miami seems to thrive regardless of uncertainty. For the second year in a row, the market for homes, condos and commercial real estate in Miami showed marked growth.

International buyers played a major role in rebuilding the market in Miami. According to the quarterly Elliman report, foreign investors flocked to the city because of its inimitable lifestyle. Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Asian companies attracted by the city's flourishing cultures see opportunities in reaching more than one market or demographic - not to mention impressive returns on commercial real estate. 

Also, pending fundamental changes in business practices like redesigning existing space to meet the needs of tenants, the booming market creates opportunities to build on-site. Companies can fill their new offices with furniture that is sturdy, reliable and well designed. Pairing great office furniture with international buyers looking to begin building in the Miami metropolitan area is a perfect match. When looking for furniture, buying from a reputable source can develop long-lasting relationships. You might strike deals on desks, ergonomic chairs or even build your own custom office station.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Design District to get a new showroom

Miami's artsy Design District is slated to get a new showroom in 2015, according to the South Florida Business Journal. This Terra Group project will bring an additional 60,000 square feet of showroom space to the neighborhood, which is enough for eight to ten tenants.

The development will boast 12 floors and include 110 parking spaces. The building will be designed for mixed use, as the top levels will house residential units. Terra Group chose the Miami Beach-based Comras Company to market the building.

"The beauty of these urban revitalization projects is linkage and creating pedestrian flow from area to area and that is what this project has the potential to do," Comras told the source.

The developers saw a unique need for space devoted to home furniture retailers that have been ousted from their previous units to make space for luxury fashion houses. They would like to have some of those entities move into their second and third floors.

Showroom furniture

Desks - Showrooms have a unique need for office workstations. While they don't use desks in the same capacity as some office spaces, they still need to work efficiently. Many of these businesses operate in open layouts, which allows people to work as a team and collaborate easily. Bench workstations support this type of work best.

Conference tables - The Design District's showrooms will also have a need for conference tables. It's the perfect place to have brainstorming meetings, hold company presentations and conduct any other tasks that require that you work in a group. There is a variety of components to consider when selecting a table. You want a surface of the appropriate size and amenities to support your work. For example, if your presentations are conducted with the assistance of technology, you'll need hidden compartments in the table and/or outlets to power your computer or projector.

Ergonomic chairs - The chair you select depends on the type of work the user will perform. For example, if you are looking for seats for the conference room, task chairs or executive chairs would be great choices. However, for employee desks, ergonomic chairs are necessary to help limit workplace strains like back or wrist problems. They are available in a variety of styles, including those with neck and backrests.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Building the ultimate Sunny Isles home office

Located between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Sunny Isles is the perfect resort destination for travelers heading to South Florida.

The city is also a desirable place to live thanks to its wealth of oceanfront condos. Developers realize this as well and are continuing to make upgrades all across town. Recently, Porsche Design broke ground on a new tower. It's the studio's first venture into residential real estate. The structure will be 60 stories tall and house 132 units. Each of the spaces will have it's own balcony, but the building has an even more impressive component, its sky garage. There will be three car lifts in total featuring the company's vehicle elevator technology.

"This is an especially proud moment to launch the first-ever Porsche Design Tower," Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Development, said in a statement. "If the compelling success of the initial sales process is any indication, the Porsche Design Tower Miami has already delivered a new dimension to South Florida's ultra-luxury, high-end real estate market. We have a lot of excited guests here and reason to celebrate."

Luxury residences have a variety of features that combine work and play. For the former, a complete home office allows people the flexibility to complete their tasks from the comfort of home.

Business furniture

Desks - There are a variety of contemporary workstations that can match well with residential interior design. For instance, an angled desk that features a mix of wood and metal has components that many designers are utilizing in their work. Additionally, when you source equipment from a reputable supplier you have the opportunity to purchase office workstations, which companies use as well.

Chairs - The leading type of office seating is the ergonomic chair. It combines form and function to offer a comfortable sitting experience for people needing to stay seated for prolonged periods. In many models, for example, the height of the chair can adjust to the right level. Additionally, some have back and neck rests that can conform to the posture of the user.

Storage - To limit clutter you'll also need storage units. Streamlined filing cabinets are available in a variety of sizes with a durable construction. However, some desks come complete with storage built in, so find something that fits your needs best.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ukrainian investors buy third and fourth properties in South Florida

Investors from a Ukrainian firm have been buying up Lauderdale-by-the-Sea property since the beginning of the year and have recently made the group's third and fourth real estate purchases in the region. The Florida Development Group, which is based in Boca Raton, paid $8.64 million for a 29-room drive-up inn on El Mar Drive. In booking the deal, firm managers Zoron Zelenikovski and Krsto Stamatovski struck a deal with Little Italy Oceanside Investments, managed by Remo Polselli.

Potential for economic growth in the Lauderdale-By-the-Sea area

Tropic Ranch Inc., the owners of the property, were under siege from Sunrise-based TransCapital Bank after being unable to pay a $5 million mortgage. Florida Development stepped in to not only purchase Tropic Ranch's A Little Inn By the Sea on El Mar, but also the A Little Inn Too hotel down the street for $4.4 million. The purchase settled a Comerica Bank foreclosure lawsuit from 2012 over a $4.2 million mortgage on the 16-room motel.

Lauderdale-By-the-Sea is a small town in Broward County, located along Florida's Gold Coast. It is situated between the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Intracoastal Waterway on the west. Tourists from all over the world come to Lauderdale-By-the-Sea for scuba diving trips that explore the coral reef as well as nature excursions and fishing expeditions through nearby parks and lakes.

The Florida Development group hoped to capitalize on the town's developing tourist economy with their recently bought property. The hotel purchases were part of a plan to expand  the group's influence in the area's real estate market after winning a $17 million bankruptcy auction of the 147-room Lauderdale Beachside hotel on Ocean Drive.

Working with the new hotel purchases

With the purchase of hotel real estate comes the need for office furniture. Managers and designers will be coming in to outfit the raw space with good furniture. Conference tables will be needed to host internal and professional meetings. Ergonomic chairs and custom office workstations with more than one person at each station will provide a comfortable work environment that facilitates collaboration and productivity. Transitioning into a new property can be challenging and the placement of furniture is never set in stone, so furniture needs to be accessible and mobile at the same time.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Plaza Construction bought by Chinese firm

The Chinese firm China Construction America Inc. (CCA) has acquired controlling stock of Plaza Construction, a major force in the construction, management and real estate industry in South Florida and the mid-Atlantic region.

Plaza Construction, which is based in New York, is widely regarded as one of the nation's leading construction management and general contracting firms. It was incorporated nearly three decades ago and has been serving businesses in Miami, Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles. It is well known for its advocacy of the construction strategy called building information modeling (BMI), which is the process of developing and managing data throughout the construction of a project.

How the acquisition affects the real estate industry

CCA, a subsidiary of the state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corporation based in Beijing, will be overseeing the financial and business-related aspects of Plaza Construction. New York-based Fisher Brothers, a real estate investment firm, said that the construction and management company was sold so that more focus could be put on developing the real estate it already has. According to Brad Meltzer, Plaza's president of southeast regional operations in Miami, the sale is beneficial for everybody, down to entry-level employees. 

"The acquisition will afford Plaza greater financial strength and bonding capacity and enhance procurement capabilities and it will allow greater opportunity for our employees to grow in their profession,'' Meltzer told the Miami Herald.

Future of real estate in South Florida

Some of Plaza Construction's biggest contracts are underway in Miami. It is involved in several Related Group Co. projects, including the 42-story waterfront condominium Icon Bay, luxury condos in South Beach and the Millecento Condos in the Brickell area. Plaza's expertise in construction management will boost CCA's current projects, which include the rehabilitation of the Alexander Hamilton Bridge in New York, and the Baha Mar Casino and Resort in the Bahamas.

As more real estate begins to develop in the South Florida area a result of this buyout, the possibility of businesses growing becomes greater. Companies will need to furnish their new spaces with custom office workstations and ergonomic chairs. Conference tables and cubicles will be needed to fill out meeting rooms and call centers. In order to save money while growing their company, owners can search for secondhand business furniture and office chairs to meet all their business needs. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

How to throw a great NYE office party

Throwing a New Year's Eve party at the office is a great way to finish the year. It allows all your employees to gather together and celebrate, creates a sense of community and builds inter-department relationships that will continue into the new year. Planning an end-of-the-year office party might seem like a challenge, but following these tips can help you.

Food - Having some finger foods available is great for a New Year's Eve get-together. To prepare, call a few hours ahead to local restaurants and see if they can deliver a good mix of light snacks. Alternatively, you can ask if employees would like to bring food of their own to the party in a pot-luck format. Refrain from serving full meal-type dishes. People will most likely be having dinner after the party with other friends and family.

Music - Entertaining a group in your office is easier when you have some fun music playing in the background. Prepare a few mixed CDs with popular songs from the radio that have a party-type energy. If you don't feel comfortable picking out music, ask a friend who has a good ear for music create a playlist that's appropriate for the occasion. Make sure that each genre is represented until you get a sense of what the crowd likes most. Alternatively, and if it's in the budget, you can hire a DJ to play entertaining music for a few hours.

Games - There are a many different types of office-appropriate NYE games that can serve as icebreakers and overall entertainment throughout the night. You might have to move your office furniture and ergonomic chairs to the walls to make enough room.

  • Cotton ball blitz -  You will need a bag of cotton balls, two bowls for each player and a tub of Vaseline. Start by putting two bowls in front of each player on the ground. One should be filled with cotton balls and the other empty. Ask players to put a small amount of Vaseline on the tips of their noses. Set a timer for one minute and begin to play. The person who transfers the most cotton balls from one bowl to the other using only their nose wins.
  • Ribbon dance - You will need 3-foot-long ribbon for this activity. First, there has to be one ribbon for every two players. In your hand, hold a bundle of ribbons with the ends dangling loose. Have each participant grab an end and the two people holding the same ribbon will be dance partners for one song. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Find inspiration for your home office from fashion designers

Aspiring fashion designers know that creating a space in your home can be an inspiring and worthwhile endeavor. There are many ways you can develop your custom office workstation to bring out your most creative and innovative designs. Here are some tips and ideas from the home offices of some of history's greatest designers.

Cristobal Balenciaga

The Spanish-born Balenciaga lived most of his life in France, but the passion and vigor that is characteristic of his homeland often appeared in his work environment. In his country home near Orleans, his office was adorned with artful objects made of bronze and other metals, and the walls were laced with intricate patterns. Balenciaga layered his floor with stylish and tasteful carpets that evoked an effortless beauty similar to his fashion design.

Geoffrey Beene

Art deco captured the imagination of a young Geoffrey Beene and influenced his work early on his career. The motif found its way into his home office as well, where he embraced the different compositions of shade and geometric lines that blended both masculine and feminine aesthetics. He enjoyed filling his office with deep upholstery and candy-bright orchids, which further inspired his fashion repertoire.

Reed Krakoff

The longtime president and executive creative director of Coach, Reed Krakoff spends hours amidst avant-garde contemporary art pieces and classical French art. He surrounds himself with beautiful and visually stunning pieces to stimulate his creativity. Krakoff fills his sizeable office with works from every medium: carbon-fiber and steel sculptures, black monochrome paintings and enormous vibrant photographs. However, it is not the visual beauty of the pieces catches Krakoff's eye and drives him to create. He is inspired by the artists' approach to the creative process and how a particular piece was crafted from the beginning concept to the final product. He attributes a lot of the aesthetic of his designs to the creative dynamic that exists in his office, where people see two seemingly unrelated objects existing in a space in perfect harmony.

Tips for developing a fashion designer-inspired workspace 

Many up-and-coming designers will not have the home office space of these fashion veterans, but there are ways to emulate their style. Ergonomic chairs can be modified to take on an industrial or raw look. Custom office workstations can be adorned with inspiring quotes and images. The reason these world-renowned designers surround themselves with beautiful artifacts is not for admiration, but for inspiration and a different way to see beauty 

Bitcoin conference coming to Miami

Miami is home to many banks, and the financial professionals based in the South Floridian metropolis conduct a lot of work with international entities. The coastal city is seeking to diversify it's financial market by hosting the North American Bitcoin Conference in late January at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Bitcoin is a new form of tender that uses peer-to-peer technology to operate without the use of a central authority or bank. Additionally, the backbone of the system is open-source, so no one owns the rights to design or control Bitcoin.

According to the Miami Herald, the upcoming conference will provide workshops to merchants interested in utilizing this e-currency. Additionally, Bitcoin startups, vendors and exhibitors are set to showcase their innovations with attendees. The conference will also host paneled discussions led by banks, regulators and government officials.

Business potential

With the very face of money changing, there is a wealth of potential business ventures available for entrepreneurs. Early adopters may gain leverage in a marketplace that has many barriers to entry.

Business furniture

To help establish themselves, entrepreneurs should purchase office workstations smartly. Even though their business may be young, it's important for the entity to operate efficiently. Used office furniture is a great option for those needing to reduce startup costs while maintaining a level of professionalism.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Workspace design tips for digital startup companies

Employers in the digital startup industry know that giving their workers custom office workstations that foster collaboration will benefit the company in the end. For digital startups, however, funding and time are limited resources and must be used to their maximum potential. Original and creative ways to do less with more in an office space can benefit the workplace.

Tips from an expert

Lauren Geremia is an interior office designer who has worked with U.S. technology startups like Dropbox, Instagram and Hightail. She is part of a growing movement where employers want to create a work environment that is an extension of an employee's compensation.

Her process begins with getting to know the company, what it is trying to accomplish and feeling out what kind of floor plan would facilitate imagination as well as productivity. Designing the workspace revolves around her interpretation of the brand, which is often very raw and industrial, and what clients like. Geremia has seen a growing trend that has offices transitioning from that raw, minimalist design to one that is warmer and more innovative. The collaboration of a variety of soft LED and fluorescent lights is just one of the ways she sees this trend developing.

Start up office design from an executive's perspective

Patrick Reynolds, the chief strategy officer at Triton Digital, was responsible for transferring a team to a new office in Boston.(from where?) His goal was to have developers, sales and marketing professionals all under one roof. Before they could unpack their moving boxes, however, they were put on task to rethink the company's core operational objectives and how to move forward as a brand.

Within three days, Reynolds and his team delivered a presentation without so much as an Internet connection. He had bought a WiFi hotspot and his team was able to run their PowerPoint(cap) presentation on their laptops, but for the most part, they developed an amazing presentation on minimal technology. According to Reynolds, the key to creating productive office spaces is to provide a blend of high tech gadgets and low tech options.

In his Boston office, he made use of an IdeaPaint wall on which he and his team would write questions, draw and jot down notes that were revisited and reworked. He credits the work of Chip Saltsman, the designer of the Accelerated Solutions Environments office, who envisioned a workspace that threw out traditional meeting procedures and opted for wide spaces full of different media such as books, writable walls and surfaces and even toys to facilitate discussion, interaction and the overall experience of community in group meetings.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Creating an environmentally-conscious office

One of the best ways to attract workers to your office is by making it environmentally friendly. Many companies have their efforts to preserve the health of the planet translate into a productive and pleasant work setting. Employees feel empowered when they are given the opportunity to make real positive changes to the environment. There are plenty of different ways you can transition into a greener office, but the foundations are simple. Whether your employees work in cubicles or a custom office workstation, be conscious of sustainability and waste management. 

Sustainability

Use electricity wisely - Consider turning off all of the office's computers, printers, photocopiers and other electronic equipment that isn't critical to your operation at the end of the day. Make sure that your monitors and laptops are set to an energy efficient setting. You can also save electricity by turning off the lights when you leave a room for more than 15 minutes. The type of bulbs you use can be helpful to the environment as well. Try using compact fluorescent lights instead of incandescent bulbs and make the most of natural sunlight. In the same manner, during cold weather, keep blinds open to let the warmth in and pull the blinds closed when the weather grows warm.

Eco-friendly office products and practices - Every bit of recycled paper, refillable ink cartridges and non-toxic highlighters used around your office helps protect the environment. On average, these products cost only 5 percent more than their non-recycled competitors. If your company uses paper on a daily basis, consider buying a chlorine-free variety. You also have the option of using paper made from organic products like bamboo, cotton or hemp.

Use email instead of traditional mail and try not to print messages unless absolutely necessary. Try sending - and signing - contracts electronically if possible. Very few offices in the U.S. go completely paperless, but most can cut down on the majority of paper projects to the essentials.

Waste management

Reduce, reuse, recycle - When printing out non-professional documents, consider using both sides of the paper. Also, shredding old documents can make packaging material. When packages come in, save and reuse them for storage purposes. Try instituting a no disposable cup policy around the water cooler and ask your employees to bring in mugs from home.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Designing a home office for writers

One of the benefits of writing professionally is the freedom to work almost anywhere you choose. Many people enjoy writing in the comfort of their custom office workstation in their homes for a variety of reasons. You could have children with whom you'd like to spend more time, require. Texts and other resources from your personal library, or simply be expecting a package at your home. Whatever the case may be, setting up an office in your house made specifically for writing is worth the effort.

Location

Before you begin building your home office, look around your house or apartment and find a relatively quiet place where you can write. Avoid the bedroom if you can, as the proximity to a bed is not conducive to productivity. The kitchen is another place to avoid - unless you're a food critic, perhaps.

Ideally, you would want a clear and quiet space located in an extra bedroom. However, if another room is not available, then your living or dining room can serve as your office. Make sure you can permanently place your workstation here without disrupting the natural flow of the room. 

Furniture

Creating the ideal custom office workstation requires a desk, an ergonomic chair and one or more bookshelves that can hold your writing books and references. The desk need not be large and extravagant, but should be built for utility and productivity. Your chair should be comfortable enough to sit in for hours at a time. Consider investing in a small filing cabinet as well. You can store all your hard files, reference materials and any other hard copy documents related to your writing.

Computer

Whether you are a creative or technical writer, having a desk or laptop computer is a necessity. If you do not own one, research on the Internet for stores that rent or sell used electronics. Although you can still write or jot down notes without a computer, you should try to take advantage of modern technology's power and versatility.  Most modern models come with some kind of word processor that will make your rewriting and editing process much faster.

Organizational/ space saving tips

If your work area is cramped, using your space wisely can help with productivity. Lateral filing cabinets store more files than vertical ones of the same size. Only current projects should take up space on your desk. Consider using a dry erase board to track your assignments, deadlines and finished articles. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.