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Add some Green to your NY Office Space

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Office plants

One of the best ways to liven up offices, reception areas and conference rooms is adding a splash of color. If buying or renting colorful art is out of question, why not enhance the corporate space with plants?

Carefully selected indoor plants will soften the harsh effects of modern office decor; they are visually pleasing, soothing and keep up the positive image of your company, as well as help naturally improve the indoor air and are effective in decreasing tiredness.

With such a high density of business centers in New York, the city has an array of plant rental service providers covering Manhattan and surrounding areas. Here at NY Offices we decided to compile a list of companies that would be happy to revive any workspace, large or small.

Commercial plantscaping includes office plant rentals, seasonal plant displays, plant sales and, in some cases, on-going maintenance.

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The Best Co-Working Office Space Perks in New York

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As one of the world’s most creative and innovative cities, New York is certainly not alien to the concept of collaborative and shared working spaces. According to a recent real estate survey, Manhattan alone is home to more than 5 million square feet of shared office space, and the figures are also high (and continue to increase) in boroughs like Brooklyn, which has approximately 1 million square feet of such space.

Over the past five years, New York City has witnessed the significant growth of co-working spaces that cater to very specific niches, from female-only spaces to those exclusively created to attract graphic designers or writers. New spaces are constantly appearing across the city, offering a range of fabulous benefits in an effort to target specific niche communities and to bring real value and opportunities for growth to the professionals using these spaces.

In this article we take a look at some of the most interesting, cool, and quirky perks offered by some of the top co-working spaces in New York.

Spacious defines itself as a co-working-hospitality hybrid model that provides workspaces in select New York restaurants when they are closed to diners. Perks include high-speed WiFi, private dining rooms used to conduct private calls or meetings complimentary tea and coffee, and food and drink discounts at each restaurant.

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A Quarter of All Office Holiday Parties in New York City are Considered Flops

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Christmas Office Parties in New York

The most special time of the year is approaching fast, and many businesses are now busy preparing for their Christmas office parties. These end-of-the-year celebrations are often regarded as an effective way of rewarding staff for their hard work, boosting employee morale, and starting a new year with a positive frame of mind.

However, some have claimed that corporate holiday parties are not as popular as they once were, and that in many cases they are below staff expectations and fail to fulfil their purpose. Seamless (an online food ordering and delivery company based in New York) surveyed more than 1,000 companies and asked them about their Christmas celebration habits and plans. The data they collected showed some interesting trends, which are summarised below.

Lower overall expenditure

One of the main conclusions reached following the survey is that the belt-tightening measures taken by many companies have also affected the overall expenditure allocated to their annual Christmas parties. There seems to be an increasing preference among employers to organise office parties on a budget, since approximately 42 per cent of all firms surveyed said they were spending less than $25 per person on their corporate Christmas event. In fact, only 10 per cent of companies spent between $51 and $100 / employee, and a further 20 per cent opted for a mid-range budget of $25 to $50 / person.

Open bars are no longer the norm

The Seamless survey also revealed that only 50 per cent of the companies interviewed were planning on including an open bar during their corporate Christmas party. In 2012, the percentage of no-alcohol office parties in the city barely reached 21 per cent, but two years later that figure had more than doubled at 44 per cent. Moreover, the survey revealed other data related to the type of holiday entertainment offered at end-of-the-year office parties: up to 70 per cent of the businesses surveyed mentioned there would be no dancing at their annual Christmas event.

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Financing and Incentives for Businesses in Manhattan

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Manhattan has one of the most dynamic economies in the United States. This New York City borough ranks high in terms of employment numbers and innovation, and is home to more than 125,000 firms. If you are looking to set up a business in Manhattan, this quick guide will provide you with information on the key support services available.

Financing and Incentives for businesses in Manhattan

The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation is a good starting point for local business owners in need of funding. This organization offers business investment loans, small business loans, and microloans ranging from $500 to $250,000.  Find out more information at www.umez.org/.

Sales & Use Tax Exemption applies to eligible Manhattan business owners who purchase equipment, furniture and/or fixtures for new office premises. The premises must be leased for at least 10 years and must be located at the World Trade Center Site, Battery Park City, or the World Financial Center.

A rent abatement program is available to tenants of office or commercial premises located in a specific area of Lower Manhattan (Zone 4 or the areas between Murray, Frankfort, South and West Streets and along Battery Place). This program applies to commercial premises built before 1975 and implies a rent reduction of $2.5/ square foot. For further information, contact the administering agency (the New York City Department of Finance). The CRP (Commercial Revitalization Program) is similar program also managed by the same agency. This scheme aims to boost commercial occupancy rates in designated parts of the Lower Manhattan area. Some of the incentives offered by this program include 3 and 5-year rent tax abatements on new, expanded, or renewed lease agreements.

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Flexible Working Trends in New York

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For several decades, the predominant corporate culture in the United States has been characterised by long working hours and a generalised reticence to taking vacations. However, in recent years flexible working practices have begun to be frequently implemented in companies around the globe in an attempt to provide employees with a better work-life balance. This trend has of course had a direct impact on US-based firms too, and it is estimated that more than 3 million US employees now benefit from flexible work arrangements.

As one of the most prosperous and forward-looking cities in the country, New York has led the way with regards to the implementation of flexible working practices. This article provides an overview of the progress made so far, as well as a review of the most flexible workplaces in New York.

Flexible Work Arrangements in New York: General Trends

According to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, flexible work arrangements are particularly common among New York employees who hold managerial, executive, or administrative roles in the private sector. Within the public sector, New York employees who work for the federal government are more likely to have access to flexible working arrangements than their local or state government counterparts.

Another trend worth mentioning refers to the widespread adoption of flexible working practices across genders and age groups. For example, a New York Times article recently drew attention to the fact that telecommuting is no longer an option limited to mid-career employees, as the typical telecommuter profile has grown to include young graduates and employees close to retirement age irrespective of their gender.

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Office Christmas Parties in New York

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If you plan on throwing an office Christmas party in New York City, then you will want to go all out to turn your party into a special event. As you put your party together, there are a few guidelines you should follow to make it easier for your guests to have a good time.

Places To Have Your Party

New York City is filled with great places where you can have your office Christmas party. There are five places in particular that will offer you and your employees a memorable Christmas party event.

Minus5 Ice Bar

The Mius5 Ice Bar is made completely of ice, but it is open all year round. This chilling venue is ideal for a memorable office Christmas party.

The Elm

The Elm is a relatively new restaurant in Brooklyn that has been growing quickly in popularity. It features four-star food and an excellent wait staff.

Malbec and Tango House

The Malbec and Tango House has a very rural feel to it, which makes it unique for New York City. It has a larger hall that will definitely create atmosphere for your office Christmas party.

Andaz Wall Street

The Andaz Wall Street room is fun because it is a throwback to the 1960’s. You feel like you walked back in time the moment you walk through the door. This room could bring back some nostalgic Christmas memories for your employees.

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Pension Guide for New Yorkers

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The security of a pension can be a tremendous benefit of one’s job. A pension can provide thousands of extra dollars in support during one’s retirement. A pension plan typically varies depending on one’s salary and position level. A pension is treated as income under tax laws, and it may be subject to taxation at the federal, state and city levels. If you live in New York, you should be aware of taxation laws and how they may impact your pension plan.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund 

In New York, government employees receive access to the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF). The CRF is held in trust for over one million employees at the State and local government levels. The fund is comprised of $160.7 billion. The CRF is one of the top-managed funds in the U.S. Pensions are guaranteed for NY government workers based on their peak salaries and the duration of their careers.

New Yorkers should seek to stay updated on changes in the management policies of the CRF. Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo instituted a policy that will allow local authorities to hold off on pension fund payments so that budget gaps can be met. The CRF is managed by the State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, and the comptroller has the responsibility of managing the security and investments of the CRF.

Defined Benefit Plans

A defined benefit plan is a traditional type of pension plan. Private companies may administer a direct benefit plan, but they have grown rare in recent years. In a defined benefit plan, the company provides a specified sum to the employee during his or her retirement years. For example, a company may provide a $3,000 pension every month to a retired individual. A defined benefit plan may require that an individual work for a company for a certain number of years before he or she can enjoy the benefits of the pension plan. If the individual quits before this time period, he or she may forfeit any invested pension benefits.

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Pollution in NY City

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New York City PollutionNew York City is an enormous city with a lot of industry, a lot of cars and a lot of people. Due to the sheer size and population density of New York City, the area puts out a lot of pollution in a given year. Despite this, the city has taken great strides toward reducing its environmental impact and the amount of pollution it produces on a yearly basis. As the city in the United States with one of the most advanced “green” building and “green” industrial sectors, New York City is doing a lot to lessen its impact on the environment.

Air Pollution

According to the city government of New York, air pollutants contribute to roughly 6 percent of deaths city-wide on an annual basis. Due to this, air pollution is taken very seriously in the city and there are a number of programs in place to lessen air pollution.

One way that business owners can lessen their air pollution imprint on the city is by taking part in the CATS system. CATS stands for “Clean Air Tracking System” and it monitors the installation of boilers around the city. CATS standards tell you what boilers you can install that are in line with current New York City air quality standards. The New York City division of Environmental Protection has a number of resources you can use to learn about this.

Water Pollution

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Meeting Venues in New York City

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manhattanskylineThe Importance of a Professional Meeting Venue

When you are having a big meeting, seminar, or other important business event, you need to make sure that you’re holding it somewhere that exudes professionalism. After all, the places you choose to hold major meetings in say a lot about the success of your business. If you want to impress your clients or business partners, then you should take a moment to look into these great venues.

TKP New York Conference Center

The TKP is a brand new conference center opening up in the heart of Manhattan. Thanks to its unique location, people attending your big meeting will have an immense range of lodging, food and entertainment choices when meetings are not in session. This is especially great when you are holding longer seminar or conference events.

One of the major benefits that this event offers is the sheer scale of its facilities. Anyone who’s visited midtown Manhattan knows how small and space-efficient the meeting rooms are there. After all, you need to use space wisely when you’re building onto an island with a population of millions. This venue provides some of the most spacious meeting space in the city, all with a wonderful view overlooking the lights and sounds of Manhattan.

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New York Labor Laws

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There are a few labor laws in New York state that go beyond the federal mandates on employers. These differences are mostly related to wages, but many are also related to the length of a workday. There are also many specific laws protecting workers against discrimination and harassment. It is important to look at each of these issues on their own individual merits to understand the unique labor laws of New York state.

Wages

The minimum wage in New York State is $7.25 an hour, which is identical to the federal minimum wage standard. Some states go beyond the federal standard to create their own state-wide minimum wage. Oregon is one such state, with a minimum wage of $8.80 an hour. New York has opted to retain those federal standards.

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