The Business Exchange has recently launched its latest premium-grade office location at 96 Rivonia Road in the prestigious business district of Sandton. This facility boasts a 22-seater boardroom with state-of-the-art meeting room facilities – perfect for arbitrations, mediations, depositions, high court cases, training, conferences and stakeholder meetings.
The facilities, which were purpose-built for arbitrations and based on international standards, offer a neutral, independent and uniquely designed space for businesses and firms across the global community.
Arbitrations are becoming a regular part of the legal process and can be long and challenging for all parties involved. TBE understands the importance of providing its clients with the best possible experience during stressful negotiations. The new premises offers two break-away 10-seater boardrooms for legal teams and their clients to discuss confidential issues.
During an arbitration, the boardroom, which is equipped with audio and video conferencing capabilities, projectors and monitors, can be configured to comply with each client’s specific requirements.
Meeting Room and On-Site Facilities
High-speed wireless internet access
Generator to ensure business and meeting continuity
On-site Business Manager to assist with all your business needs
On-site coffee shop
This contemporary and serviced facility is in close proximity to major law firms, corporates and multinational companies. Situated with breath-taking views over the Sandton CBD and with corporate office space for companies up to 100 people, it provides the most optimal and conveniently located business solution for companies looking to conduct their business in a professional work environment.
TBE’s latest offering at 96 Rivonia Road is within easy walking distance of the Sandton Gautrain and Sandton City. This premium-grade property offers upmarket and ultra-modern workspaces that are fully equipped, ergonomically furnished and offer ample natural light – conducive to an optimal working environment.
If you are looking for training, mediation, or arbitration meeting room hire in Sandton, TBE can assist you.
Flexible office space is the future of workspace design. For a company to prosper, employees need to thrive in their office environment, be productive, drive the business and build progressive companies.
Thriving in the flexible office space environment relates to employees’ experience of well-being, creativity, better interaction and work performance. A well-designed, flexible office space is essential if employees are to thrive.
Under the current pandemic, a large portion of the world’s population adopted remote working, with many enjoying the option of working from home. However, alongside the satisfaction of flexibility that remote working brings, people are missing out on a work-life balance. This balance comes in many forms, from interacting with colleagues in the office to simply getting out of the house for a change of scenery. For many, it is to find a place where one can work more productively – a place where one can concentrate without the distraction of children at home or the coffee machine’s noise at the local cafe distracting them from a Zoom call. While enjoying the current flexibility, people are missing some aspects of the workplace, which is why flexible office space is being seen as the workspace of the future.
Fully-serviced, flexible office space is appealing to more individuals and businesses as they realize the cost and time-saving benefits of being able to move into their office space and immediately begin focusing on their core business activities; without the necessity of unpacking and having to engage the relevant business and IT services that are required for daily business operations.
Benefits of fully-serviced flexible office space
Flexible office space has many other benefits too: • It frees people and businesses from committing to long-term commercial property leases. • It saves companies money as set-up, and ongoing costs are covered. • It saves time and energy for companies having to find and negotiate with individual business service providers. • It saves costs on hiring or buying specific business equipment such as PABX, copiers, and audio-visual equipment.
What is included in a fully-serviced flexible office space?
Landlords, such as The Business Exchange which has offices in Sandton, Rosebank and Mauritius, offer their tenants a range of equipment and services which are included in the lease. Some of these include; • Fully-furnished offices • High-speed fibre internet • Business manager and reception services • Coffee shops and cafés • Utilities and cleaning staff • IT technician services • Biometric security and 24/7 access • Central printing services • Video conferencing and boardrooms • Flexible event space
The Business Exchange also offers its tenants flexible lease agreements from one month and upwards, as well as access to their other office space locations, and exclusive business networking and mentoring events. These facilities and events present tenants with many valuable opportunities to network with fellow tenants. All tenants have access to a professional, on-site Business Manager who provides advice and support during daily business operations in an environment which can only be described as cutting-edge workspace design.
The Business Exchange realises that, by providing accessible, affordable and inspiring office space to individuals and businesses where they can work with a purpose, they will both thrive. The companies who realise this will own the future.
While some employers have embraced remote working, others believe that having employees working from an office is far more beneficial. Some of the reasons mentioned behind this thinking are as follows;
Feelings of Seclusion During the pandemic, lockdown resulted in increased feelings of isolation – especially for people living on their own. Remote working further exacerbated these feelings because employees found it difficult to create personal connections with their colleagues, and build a team culture over email, video or telephone calls.
Fear of Being Overlooked Many employees have an inherent fear that, if they are not regularly visible, that they will be forgotten and therefore overlooked when it comes to promotions and other opportunities within the company.
Lack of Focus Although distractions happen, whether working remotely from home or in an office environment, distractions at home are more commonplace, especially from children and partners. As each person’s workspace at home is different, so too is their ability to ignore distractions – up to a point. A consistent loss of focus can severely impact an employee’s productivity, especially if they are not highly self-disciplined.
Background talking and notification alerts are mentioned as two of the most disruptive types of background noise, resulting in a loss of work focus and varying levels of miscommunication. A Doodle survey of more than 1,100 U.S. employees determined that 52% of the employees had their focus disrupted by background noise and/or low audio quality, while 23% said that it led to miscommunications with clients.
Work From Home Burnout Remote working has shown to cause some mental health issues, such as anxiety and stress, as a result of a work-life imbalance. According to a study of over 1,000 remote employees by Twingate, remote working is causing workers to lose their sense of work/life balance during the pandemic.
Their findings also included: • A full week of virtual meetings leaves 38% of employees feeling exhausted, while 30% felt stressed. • 45% of employees reported attending more meetings during the pandemic than when working in the office, compared to 21% who attended fewer meetings. • 40% of employees experienced mental exhaustion from video calls while working remotely.
In terms of another source of stress to employees, caused by perceptions and experiences relating to company IT security, the findings indicated: • 59% of employees felt more cyber-secure working in-office compared to at home. • 58% of employees reported discussing sensitive information on work video calls. • Over 1 in 10 employees had their video calls hacked while working remotely.
CEOs from other large corporates, such as Netflix’s Reed Hastings, also expressed their low regard for remote work stating that it is “a pure negative”.
Slack is a collaboration hub that provides digital tools and services to improve people’s working lives. In a recent study released, they found that only 13% of the global workforce preferred to work from home remotely on a full-time basis.
Is Hybridised Office Space A Workable Solution? Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive officer of Alphabet Inc. and it’s subsidiary Google said, “We firmly believe that in-person, being together, and having a sense of community is super important when you have to solve hard problems and create something new – so we don’t see that changing. But we do think we need to create more flexibility and more hybrid models. And when Google comes up with a new approach to working, most companies follow.”
In another survey about the ideal working environment, Dan Schawbel stated that over 72 percent of employees interviewed by his company said they wanted a hybrid remote-office model. This finding was backed up by Stanford University Economics Professor Nicholas Bloom, who says that the optimal situation is remote working two days a week.
Microsoft is also considering a “hybrid workplace” environment, and 62 percent of Google employees indicated their desire to return to their offices, but not every day. Sodexo has split their workforce into two groups which rotate between the office and working remotely.
Although remote working does allow employees a certain amount of flexibility, there is no perfect solution, since flexibility is determined by an individual’s needs and not their company. Rather, a blend of working from home and the office will allow individuals the flexibility which they need to manage their lives, yet still be able to socialise with colleagues and develop a more effective work culture and working relationships when in the office. Ultimately, in the search for and the ability to retain the best talent in a highly competitive world, companies will need to adopt a hybrid workplace model to be attractive as an employer of choice.
However, many employees miss a physical office space, and consequently, many companies will be embracing flexible office space in the future to support their hybrid workplace model. Providers of furnished office space, such as The Business Exchange, rent out prestigious workspaces in Gauteng and Mauritius on flexible terms that appeal to companies looking to adopt a hybridised and cost-effective office space solution.
The beautifully designed office spaces for rent that the Business Exchange provides, cater to 200 people with a choice of virtual, private or co-working office space. Tenants are also afforded many opportunities through TBE’s sales and marketing activities to help their businesses grow, something which is not available if employees are purely working remotely.
The demand for small office space to rent is growing as companies rethink their conventional outlook regarding employees clocking in their regular working hours at the office.
South Africa’s declining economy, as well as the virus’ economic fallout due to a protracted lockdown, has forced many businesses in the country to restructure or review their business strategies to ensure that they remain stable and competitive.
An unexpected outcome for companies rose out of exploring innovative methods to cut budgets even further under the increasingly harsh economic conditions. During the period when the virus turned working lives upside-down, and many employees were working from home, companies realised that they might not need as much office space as they initially surmised.
Currently, companies are managing remote working in a variety of ways with some allowing employees to work from home until 2021, while others have arranged for their staff to work on alternative days or in staggered shifts.
When Remote Working is Ideal
Remote working is ideal in situations that require intense concentration and has been proven to cut the time of these tasks, allowing more time for other work and thereby improving productivity. Of course, it does mean that the employee will need to be self-driven, but businesses should be able to determine this about their employees by now.
Resolving the Socioeconomic Inequality of Remote Working
However, remote working in South Africa has also highlighted the inequalities between those who “have” and the “have nots”. Overcrowded living rooms, lack of or intermittent internet meant that although employees may have wanted to work remotely, they were unable to.
Saving Costs by Downsizing Office Space
The lockdown and subsequent remote working led to businesses deliberating the future of office workspace, and being increasingly drawn to a type of hybridised working model. This hybrid model encompasses a far more flexible way of working with the combination of both office and remote working, and allows employees more freedom around their choice of when and where to work.
Ultimately, this hybrid model which grants greater autonomy to employees, also implies that companies will be able to reduce the amount of office space that they have been using by downsizing to smaller office space.
Small Office Space to Rent
Suppliers of fully-serviced and furnished office spaces, such as The Business Exchange – which provides office spaces to rent in locations around Johannesburg and Mauritius, offer practical workspace memberships. These memberships allow tenants to work remotely from any of The Business Exchange’s regional offices. Tenants are afforded access to high-speed internet, dedicated and quiet workspaces, as well as documentation hubs for printing, scanning and copying. These business centres also provide several additional benefits that include security, generators, parking, a certain amount of meeting room hours, as well as access to their onsite facilities such as restaurants, gyms, showers and cafes.
Renting fully-serviced small office space from The Business Exchange has several benefits including;
Allowing employees to work from the location nearest to them, saving traveling time and stress.
Providing the necessary office technology and tools that they need to carry out their jobs.
Affording them access to a spacious, quiet working environment.
Reducing overall company costs.
Once the pandemic subsides, it is envisaged that employees will work more remotely and only gather at the main office for larger team meetings, training, socials or seminars. However, landlords of small office spaces to rent also provide access to meeting and events rooms, which is another cost-saving exercise for companies looking to downsize.
Excellent inter-company communication must be combined with a business centre that offers high-quality technology to foster a useful hybrid work model. This will result in happier, more productive employees due to an improved work-life balance, and ultimately benefit the company.
To find out how more about small office spaces to rent and a hybridised working solution, contact The Business Exchange.
July 2020 – Cracks are starting to emerge in the work-from-home scenario that has been brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown. Besides many workers complaining that they feel disconnected, projects are being drawn out; on-site training is challenging, the lack of on-site mentoring is hindering personal development, and even recruitment and onboarding is proving to be more problematical. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that, with the resurfacing of a second wave of the virus in Europe and Asia, the majority of workers will not be going back to “business as usual”.
According to a McKinsey Consumer Pulse Survey carried out in March 2020, more than 80 percent of survey respondents were already looking at reducing their spending habits. This, together with decreased spending, cutbacks and other business disruptions during the lockdown, impacted on an already vulnerable economy and indicated a sharp decline in company profitability.
In this new normal, businesses are looking for innovative and flexible ways in which to reduce their costs and increase their profitability, while still ensuring the health and safety of their employees. Once the pandemic has been brought under control, employees may end up alternating between working remotely from home on some days, and in the office on other days to reduce the health risks brought on by congested office spaces. This translates to savings for businesses that may not now require as much office space as they did pre-COVID-19
The Trend Towards Sharing Office Space – Safely
This provides a strong case for an increased demand in the renting of co space or shared office space, where companies only pay for the workspace that they use and share certain business services and facilities, resulting in an overall cost saving.
There are plenty of office spaces to rent in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, as well as throughout the rest of South Africa, which can help mitigate the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. Tenants can leverage the latest technology provided by these commercial property landlords, such as;
access to high-speed fibre optic internet
access to high internet bandwidth
video conferencing facilities
Coworking Office Space Is Not Affected By Geographical Location
Coworking office spaces also allow the tenants to focus on their operational efficiencies and drive innovation. Geographical restrictions for employees are no longer a constraint when searching for a small office space to rent, because the employee can choose from one of many shared office spaces across the country. It also means that recruiting highly-skilled candidates from all over the country becomes easier, in that they are not always bound to geographical locations.
The trend towards the uptake of coworking space also means that employers can provide their employees with, not only a reduced commute time but also, safe and hygienic places to work in – without necessarily increasing their costs by implementing the rigorous COVID-19 sanitising procedures. Providers who rent out commercial office spaces, are required by law to ensure that their premises are regularly sanitised and to adhere to all the latest health and safety regulations on containing the spread of the virus.
Is Your Office Workspace Regularly Sanitised?
When searching for commercial property to rent, the following protocols should be present to support minimising the impact of the virus on tenants within the building;
Sanitising stations should be present at all entrances of the building, and throughout the workspaces.
Thermal screening should be used at all entrances of the building.
Compulsory wearing of masks on the premises.
Regular disinfecting and sanitising of workstations and deep cleaning of high-traffic areas.
COVID-19 awareness material on display.
Use of HVAC air conditioning filtration systems to ensure a constant flow of fresh air throughout the offices.
Social distancing implemented in open plan areas, canteens and coffee stations.
The Business Exchange is a provider of commercial office space to rent in Johannesburg, with offices in Sandton, Rosebank and Morningside. They also have offices in Mauritius. The Business Exchange adheres to stringent COVID-19 regulations to ensure that although things may look a little different when employees return to work, they will still be highly functional and most importantly, safe.
July 2020 – Top executives at Growthpoint Properties, which offers commercial property for rent, recently warned of up to a 20% decline in SA commercial property values. Unfortunately, this is happening during a time of a weakened economy which has further been impacted by the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Large companies, such as Edcon, SA Express, Tongaat-Hulett and Group 5 Construction, to name but a few, have not escaped unscathed, with the banking sector also considering significant retrenchments.
Treasury is expecting between 3 million and 7 million job losses with an unemployment rate of between 30% – 40%, and over 50% in a worst-case scenario. In addition, the South African economy is expected to contract between 7% and 12% due to the impact of the coronavirus.
Similarly, the virus has made its presence felt in the commercial property brokering industry, also impacting on commercial office space rentals. Although it is a relatively small, but high-reward sector in South Africa, it also comes with high-risk and the need for a comprehensive understanding of the industry.
Many of these commercial property brokers have invested heavily into securing and furnishing prestigious office space, with offerings of high-speed wi-fi internet access and full audio-visual conferencing to attract entrepreneurs.
Growthpoint has already offered rental relief to almost 1,500 SMME’s who have been affected by the virus lockdown. Redefine properties have also experienced a number of requests from their tenants for office space rental relief.
Landlords who insisted on signing inflexible, long-term rental agreements with their tenants may be hoping for a recovery over the full term of the lease, but will probably not be able to escape the brunt of the economic fall-out in the commercial office space sector, compared with their counterparts who offered more flexible lease arrangements.
Providers of flexible office space, such as The Business Exchange, WeWork and Regus, are able to add value to their tenants’ businesses by quickly downscaling office space requirements during tough financial times, as well as being able to upscale just as quickly, once business conditions recover. Although downscaling may initially mean a reduction in rent, it still represents a possible income in the short-term. This is not an ideal situation, but one that is becoming increasingly more acceptable to landlords and commercial office space brokers under current conditions.
This pandemic, as with many others throughout history, will also be responsible for fuelling both innovation and entrepreneurship. It has already forced technology forward into first gear, due to the sheer numbers of people forced to work remotely from home during the global lockdown. Remote working increased dramatically, and although most employees will be going back to the office at some later stage, many employers will be looking at cutting costs by reducing the amount of office space previously occupied. This, after they experienced how well some of their employees could work remotely.
This unexpected opportunity that arose during a time of crisis is undoubtedly one which entrepreneurial commercial property brokers will need to explore thoroughly. It may take some time for a full recovery from this pandemic and resulting recession – possibly in the region of four years if the 2009 recession is used as a benchmark – but South Africans have always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit and will overcome this.
WeWork recently published an article discussing how leading companies are coping with the transition to a new “business-normal” due to the impact of COVID-19 on the traditional working environment.
Millions of employees all over the world were forced to abandon their offices in favour of working from home to protect themselves and to try and prevent the spread of the virus, or at least to allow their governments some time to sufficiently prepare their country’s health infrastructure.
Companies had to adapt to new ways of working virtually overnight. WeWork’s article “How the world’s leading companies are responding to COVID-19” highlighted the flexibility required by companies and real estate leaders in the wake of the virus, to increase their resilience and survive in the long-term.
After much consultation with industry-leaders, WeWork concluded that strong, yet flexible companies are built upon a leadership that ensures a healthy workplace culture – despite the current challenging conditions.
Although many people can work from home, this is not sustainable for every employee, nor productive for all client relationships. Many of the business leaders interviewed felt that a vital component to connecting people was in-office contact to keep employees engaged and motivated.
The Business Exchange has created sophisticated, spacious and high-end offices, filled with internationally-curated artworks, to inspire new ideas and for innovation to flourish. Their offices are designed to connect like-minded business people, as well as employees.
They provide cost-effective private offices for businesses up to 200 people, virtual office packages, coworking options and membership products. Their offices are fully-furnished and serviced with encouragingly flexible lease agreements, when companies need to quickly up or downscale operations, such as during this time of COVID-19.
Their flexibility also means that businesses requiring fewer desks, for those employees who cannot work from home, can still be accommodated in a professional office environment without having to spend a fortune on unused office space.
As a provider of serviced office space, The Business Exchange also takes on the additional responsibilities and costs of ensuring that the extra safety and cleanliness protocols required in the office environment, are implemented and supervised.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all businesses to rethink about the way in which employees interact in the office. The Business Exchange is one of the leaders of office space rentals in South Africa and Mauritius, who have adjusted their workspaces to adapt to the stringent density requirements and new health and safety practices brought about by regulations to control the spread of the virus.
June 2020 – As landlords of commercial office space prepare for the reductive impact that coronavirus has had on the commercial property rental industry, The Business Exchange has been quick to ensure the safety of its current tenants, as well as other businesses that are looking for furnished offices to rent in Johannesburg.
The working lives of people all over the world have changed from conducting business as usual to taking extra precautions in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Physical distancing rules have forced landlords to find new ways of accommodating tenants as well as marketing their properties to clients.
Virtual Tours of Office Space to Rent
The Business Exchange has taken to the latest technology, using 360 degree virtual tours, to promote its serviced office spaces for rent, so as to mitigate the health risks for their potential tenants, by allowing them to view these prestigious offices from the comfort and safety of their homes.
Four of The Business Exchanges’ serviced office properties can be viewed by virtual tour:
Their beautiful offices are modern, light and filled with internationally-curated works of art, all of which are designed to encourage creativity and new ideas.
These cost-effective private offices are fully-furnished and serviced to support a highly functional business ecosystem. In addition, the lease terms are pleasantly flexible – an absolute necessity in today’s fast-changing office environment, which is still evolving during the current pandemic.
02 June 2020 – Undeniably, the earning potential of many businesses has been negatively impacted on as a result of COVID-19. Traditional commercial property leases are well-known for their lengthy lease agreements, with little flexibility allowed for in a time of crisis.
Many companies have managed to make payment arrangements with their landlords, but, many have not been able to do so. Added to this, the reconfiguration of the open-plan workspace due to COVID-19 and the realisation that a considerable number of employees are able to work from home, may leave business owners with the realisation that they actually require less commercial office space than they initially thought.
“Businesses in search of commercial property to rent for 50 people or less, need flexible workspaces rather than traditional offices, as they can save up to 70% of their total lease investment. We have seen a significant increase in the demand for our sophisticated and spacious locations, as companies are increasingly de-risking, cutting costs and adopting hybrid working solutions,” says David Seinker, CEO of The Business Exchange.
TBE is heavily invested in empowering the business success of its tenants. To this end, TBE provides the office furnishings, documentation hubs and professional business services, which contribute towards assisting tenants to reduce their monthly costs and to focus on their core business.
Some examples of the benefits that tenants can experience at all of TBE’s commercial properties for rent include;
Reduced IT Costs: • On-site IT and client support. • Separate, secure VLAN and SSID.
Reduced Initial Set-Up Costs: • Tailored fittings and furniture to suit the tenants’ needs. • Full facilities management and no direct dealings with service providers. • Fully-managed service and staffing support. • Comprehensive boardroom and training facilities with the highest spec AV equipment.
Professional Branding and Marketing at No Extra Cost: • Prestigious corporate image and business address. • Brand identity and signage opportunities with own access. • Free attendance to marketing and mentoring events held on-site • Involvement in extensive social media campaigns • Use of on-site events space
Renting a commercial property in Johannesburg from TBE will result in up to 70% savings on the total lease costs over the lease period.
TBE offers flexible, short-term leases with no long-term commitments – vital in the challenging times created by COVID-19. Tenants pay only for the space that they require and there are no large deposits or issues with IFRS, as the leases are not recorded on balance sheets.
TBE also has commercial properties for rent in Mauritius.
For more information on TBE’s commercial space offerings, visit our website here.
Once the initial shock of COVID-19 has worn off, a “new normal” will be born. Business that are determined to survive will need to take cognisance of some important concepts that Allon Raiz, CEO of Raizcorp, highlights.