The Changing Workplace: Why Offices Are Adapting

The office workplace is an environment that has seen much change over the last decade. From updated technology to construction materials, employers and employees alike have realized the average office space needs to adapt.

Where it used to be

We’ve all been there—the stuffy office space with only a few windows, many walls, and the same color patterns throughout. File cabinets used to be in any area where they would fit. Most employees dealt with sharing space with a personal printer. It left less room for comfort and more room for isolation. But over the years, businesses have seen the value in increasing the quality of the work environment in order to boost morale, attract talented employees, and enhance their bottom line.

Where it is going and why

Colors, windows, noise, collaboration, benching, wellness, and amenities—these are all major topics of discussion in the modern workplace. Many new factors are now being considered during the design and creation of new offices.

  • Color is being used to promote certain moods in specific environments, instead of being selected on personal preferences. For example, blue hues are being used for a calming effect, while bright colors have been shown to improve focus and accuracy.
  • Windows are now being placed in open areas to allow light to flow throughout, instead of in individual offices which traps light. This also gives employees a chance to interact with nature. Even if it is visual interaction from indoors, this perceived contact has a positive impact.
  • Noise is thought about differently in varying environments in order to make tasks more efficient and comfortable. Piping in white noise or music has become a common practice in many work environments.

And then, there is the important focus on office collaboration. The workplace is seeing several different types of collaborative areas to bring employees together.

Some offices have decided to incorporate “benching” to create shared desks and work areas. This can be especially valuable when you have a group of employees that spend a lot of time traveling, or maybe for someone on your team who doesn’t need a permanent workspace. Benching can be used when employees are working on different projects and need to move around the office to work with different groups of people. All in all, the concept of benching has the ability to boost productivity by enhancing office communication and making projects move faster.

Wellness and amenities are also main concerns that bring about many conversations in the planning process. From managing stress levels to retaining talent, businesses are adding incentives within the workplace to encourage and boost their employees. It’s becoming more common to see offices with gyms, social gathering spaces, and more.

How has this affected Huntsville?

Huntsville has already seen some of these changes first hand. As companies re-locate and real estate investors purchase new property, you will notice more and more of this. The construction materials, layout, design, location, amenities, etc., are all just a few qualities that were considered on the following Crunkleton projects:

104 Jefferson Street

The tenants, Prime Lending and KPS Group Architects, are both operating out of a modern workplace and came from very traditional environments.

315 Franklin Street

The first-floor tenant, Haufe, is in and operating.

Stovehouse

This development is in its early stages but has the ability to offer very modern environments.

ADS

ADS, located at Bridgestreet, built an environment their employees could thrive in.

Crunkleton: Commercial Real Estate Group’s Office

We built a space that has flexible workspace in an open and inviting environment.

How can we help?

If you think your office setting could use an upgrade, or if you’re looking for a new space to transform your office into the modern workplace, don’t hesitate to call us at 256-536-8809 to see how we can assist you.

As one of the team’s dedicated office brokers, I will work with you and your team in finding the perfect space to help maximize your company’s full potential.

Have other questions about adapting office spaces? Let us know in the comments below!

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ERIC ST. JOHN
ASSOCIATE
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
ERIC@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

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Inquiring Minds Behavioral And Developmental Services Opens Its Doors

“When one of my relatives was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, he began early intervention therapy,” said Vasuda Bangalore, Owner and Board Certified Behavior Analyst at Inquiring Minds Behavioral and Developmental Services.

“After seeing the positive difference it made in his life, I knew I wanted to dedicate my time and energy to offering the same type of support through Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy.”

Being a part of the growth and success of children on the spectrum is something that has always been near to Vasuda’s heart. When she saw a need for these types of services in Huntsville, it motivated her to open a clinic and become a resource for children who could benefit from ABA.

What Is Inquiring Minds?

Inquiring Minds is a new outpatient clinic that serves the needs of children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related developmental disabilities. With a goal of helping their clients thrive independently, the clinic offers a wide array of services for both children and their families/caregivers.

“Improving the life of someone on the spectrum can involve many things,” said Vasuda. “Social skills, learning how to dress, communication skills, and potty training—all these fall into our scope of therapy. We want to give our clients the tools to succeed on their own and live a confident, self-sufficient life.”

The needs of individual clients between the ages of 6 months to 21 years can vary. This requires Vasuda and her team to always be on top of their game and maintain continuing education and training.

“All therapists at Inquiring Minds are required to complete a rigorous 40-hour training program, pass an in-house competency test, and complete a competency test that’s credentialed by the Behavior Analysts Certification Board (BACB),” said Vasuda. “This applies to incoming therapists with prior certifications and experience in the field to help maintain accuracy and consistency.”

“We do monthly checks with therapists to make sure therapy is running efficiently,” she said. “I provide ongoing supervision and training weekly, as well.”

Because the team at Inquiring Minds believes therapy should be available to everyone, they offer services not only at the clinic but also in-home and in the community.

“Sometimes we travel up to 30 miles from the clinic to provide our services,” she said. “That includes Arab, Athens, Brownsboro, Decatur, Florence, Gurley, Hampton Cove, Hartselle, Harvest, Hazel Green, Madison, Meridianville, and New Market. If we believe we can make an impact, we will make it happen.”

Opening A Clinic

As a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Vasuda was eager to pursue her dream of working in the medical field. She found her calling when she discovered ABA therapy and began working toward her bachelor’s in psychology. This led to her earning a master’s in psychometrics at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and obtaining her board certification as a behavior analyst (BCBA).

After discovering the need for additional ABA therapy in the Huntsville area, Vasuda began the process of opening her own clinic. In June, the doors at Inquiring Minds officially opened at the Crestwood Women’s Center located at 185 Chateau Drive.

“We have grown a lot faster than anyone anticipated,” said Vasuda. “Already, I have hired six additional Registered Behavior Technicians—RBTs for short—and an office manager. Our speedy growth solidified that there is a need for our services in the area, and we are more than thrilled to offer it to the best of our ability.”

As the clinic grows, Vasuda plans to add more staff to ensure additional one-on-one therapy time and attention to individual clients.

“We hire based on enrollment,” said Vasuda. “The typical case load for a consultant is anywhere from 8-15 children max. We are already growing past that. The staff I work with is incredible and everyone is a team player. The passion for what we are trying to accomplish is astounding.”

The business also attracted the attention of a local college, and a unique opportunity was presented to Inquiring Minds upon its opening.

“A partnership with the University of Alabama in Huntsville just kind of fell into my lap,” said Vasuda. “It has allowed us to be yet another option for children looking for therapy and training.”

The team currently offers after-school therapy and consulting for the PALS (Preschool Autism Language & Social Skills) program at the RISE School in addition to their day-to-day operations.

The Inquiring Minds Mission:

 “We aim to deliver exceptional, comprehensive, and culturally-sensitive, one-on-one care through education, acceptance, and evidence-based interventions to enhance the well-being and lifestyle of individuals and families living with autism and related developmental disorders.”

Becoming A Resource

More than anything else, Vasuda said that Inquiring Minds wants to be a resource for anyone looking for ABA services.

“Never be afraid to reach out and see how you can help improve the life of your child or loved one,” said Vasuda. “If we can’t provide the appropriate service, we will point you to someone in the area who can. There are many options out there, and we are here to help you find them.”

For more information on Inquiring Minds, click here. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

 Contact Vasuda and the team directly by email at admin@inquiringmindsbds.com.

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Four Signs That Your Company Could Benefit From A Change Of Space

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Let’s face it. Nobody likes moving. The thought of having to pack up and relocate everything to new space can be daunting. But for some businesses, an ill-fit space could be holding them back from realizing their firms full potential.

Here are four signs we’ve found may signal that it’s time for a change of space for your company:

1) Your Current Location No Longer Represents Your Company’s Brand

Whether you’re are small creative start-up or a large, innovative corporate tech firm, if you’re working out of an office space that looks like it could be a time capsule from the 1960s, it may be time for a change.

Studies have shown that when your work environment contrasts too greatly with your brand and company culture, it can have a negative impact on your employees and can also make it increasingly difficult to attract the new talent.

Most employees want to work in an energizing, fun and inspiring environment that compliments the brand they’re working to help create. So if your office space is crowded, disorganized, and in desperate need of repairs, you may be missing the opportunity to subconsciously remind your employees of your brand’s core values that you want them to represent in everything they do.

Since the appearance of your office says so much about your company, it’s important to keep in mind that employees and clients will start to make assumptions about your firm the moment they walk up to the building it’s housed in. The question you need to ask yourself is, what assumptions will people make about your company? What story is your space telling about your brand? And more importantly, is that the story you want to be telling people?

2) You’re Struggling To Make The Space Work Efficiently

Is your office space starting to feel a bit like a maze, with departments haphazardly laid out here and there where you can fit them? Do you find yourself spending half your day navigating from one end of the office to the other in order to communicate with all the employees you need to?

Even if you physically have enough space in your office, it simply may not be laid out to best fit your needs as a firm. Or perhaps the layout is simply too inflexible to keep up with your changing needs as your company grows and expands.

Most companies act like a living breathing organism, they grow, they shrink, they change shape and sizes constantly. Having an office space that allows for those changes without splitting departments or moving people to inconvenient areas of the office can be a key factor in how efficiently you are able to operate.

A good rule of thumb is that you should be operating within a space that offers a range of different types of workspaces: open areas, space for small teams, space for large teams and space for individual workers in addition to dedicated space for private or confidential conversations.

3) Your Space Can No Longer Accommodate Your Technology Needs

In today’s world technology is constantly changing. In the 1960s we needed an entire room just to house one computer, now we can house that same computing power in the palm of our hand. It only follows then that as the technology our businesses utilize changes, the space it interacts with and lives in must change as well. However many businesses find themselves working in offices that simply cannot keep up with those changes.

And while technologies tend to be getting increasingly smaller, more and more sophisticated copiers, printers, computer monitors and a multitude of other machines invented to help increase our workplace efficiency are taking up more room than ever and beginning to encroach on human workspace in many cases. Each computer, printer, copier and fax machine needs so much open space around it to prevent malfunctions due to overheating and to allow access to its controls.

In addition, your office may also need to keep up with increasing demands for data connectivity. Dead spots that affect your employee’s ability to connect to wireless service, or the inability to utilize a high bandwidth connection, may decrease your employee’s productivity potential.

4) Your Location Just Isn’t Working Out

The visual appearance of your office is one thing, but the old adage still holds true, location, location, location can be everything. The convenience of your office to your target employees and clients has the potential to make a huge difference in how your business can compete in your industry.

Commute time alone is often a large deciding factor for many employees. Long or heavily trafficked commutes are highly taxing on employees, and that stress may affect their work when they finally make it to the office.

In addition, proximity to amenities like restaurants, espresso shops, health clubs, dry cleaners and banks are not only helpful in ensuring the happiness of your employees, but also give you more options for entertaining important clients with ease.

Finally you’ll want to consider how well your industry is performing in an area. Are there too many firms all competing for the same dollars? If so, you may struggle to grow while you fight over the best employees and clients.

So while even just the mere thought of moving is daunting to just about every business owner, it’s important to keep in mind the impact that housing your company in an ill-fit space can have.

If you think your office could benefit from a change, don’t hesitate to call us at 256-536-8809 to see how we can assist you in finding the perfect space to help maximize your company’s full potential!

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON Commercial Real EState Group
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM