Albuquerque’s Vibrant Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Hosts ESHIP 2020

This month, Albuquerque is hosting the 2020 ESHIP Summit, a gathering of “entrepreneurial ecosystem builders – leaders connecting communities together to accelerate entrepreneurship – who seek to build more inclusive, sustainable local economies.” This systems approach to fostering economic vibrancy connects people, resources, and institutions to foster collaborative growth and innovation.

“During the ESHIP Summit, we are featuring a round table of five ecosystem leaders from Albuquerque to tell the story of the development of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem over the last 10 years,” said Andy Stoll, senior program officer of entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. “We looked across the country to see what cities we saw that have demonstrated a long-term, cross-sector commitment to entrepreneurship. We believe Albuquerque is an exemplary story of a community undertaking collaborative and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem building efforts.”

“While the pandemic has revealed many cracks in the system across the nation, here in Albuquerque it has also revealed our strengths. We have been in this fight together and we will recover together, as a united community building an economy that works for everyone. We have put millions of dollars directly in the hands of local businesses to help them through the pandemic,” said Mayor Keller. “The partnership program we are implementing with assistance from the National League of Cities is a strategic step toward making sure our city emerges from COVID with an economy that’s even more robust, inclusive, and representative of Albuquerque than when the pandemic started.”

“The City of Albuquerque is honored to be recognized by Kauffman for our past and current efforts to build a vibrant small business community that can serve as a model for cities around the world,” said Synthia Jaramillo, Director of the City’s Economic Development Department. “But we are equally eager to come away from these events with new ideas for shared growth and prosperity across our city, all through the lens of equity and inclusion.”

If you are interesting in joining this flourishing community of entrepreneurs, we can help! Check out these opportunities to buy an Albuquerque business and contact us to learn more.

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Congratulations to the Santa Fean and Essential Guide!

Major congratulations to the Santa Fean, the Essential Guide, and Kelly and Martin Haug, who acquired both publications this Spring. We are so thrilled to have facilitated the transfer of ownership of these wonderful publications! We are confident that both will continue their legacies of value for Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico and thrive under the Haugs’ stewardship. The Essential Guide spotlights Northern New Mexico art, shopping, recreation, entertainment, and lifestyle options for locals and tourists alike. The Santa Fean has been sharing the stories of Santa Fe and beyond for nearly 50 years.

Entrepreneurs extraordinaire, Kelly and Martin Haug head multiple businesses (including Green Coyote Shipping, Santa Fe Print & Images, and Enchantment Energy) with a mindset deeply rooted in community.

“I don’t see it as being a serial entrepreneur. I see it as an ability to help the community in more than one way,” says Kelly Haug, now publisher of the Santa Fean and Essential Guide, in the Santa Fe New Mexican. “I’ve always been there when people needed help. … I made the conscious decision to close on the acquisitions during a pandemic because I see it as an opportunity to help the community.”

“With the addition of a few new members, the Essential Guide team will begin re-establishing the bimonthly Santa Fean as a go-to publication that celebrates the city’s unique culture, events and diverse history,” according to a news release.

“You can expect a seamless transition and the same high-quality content, along with fresh, new touches Kelly will bring to the enterprise,” say Trish and Chyp Byrd, who owned the Essential Guide for over 14 year,  in this Albuquerque Journal article.

“After almost 15 successful years in business we thought it was time for new opportunities,” say Trish and Chyp Byrd. “During discussions with Michael Greene, owner of Sam Goldenberg & Associates, he convinced me of the value of our companies and to trust his company with the confidential sale of our publication brand. He and his Senior Account Manager, J. Erika Munde assisted me and the current owner on a daily basis throughout the process—completing the transaction successfully even during the Covid pandemic, allowing us to receive our expected valuation price through creative strategies. We would recommend Sam Goldenberg & Associates whole-heartedly.”

 

 

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Price or Terms: The Structure of the Deal

An old saying in negotiating the sale of a business goes like this: The buyer says to the seller, “You name the price, and I get to name the terms.”

Another saying used to explain the actual value of the term full price: “If we could find you a business that nets you $250,000 a year after debt service, and you could buy it for $100 down, would you really care what the full price was?”

It seems that everyone is concerned only about full price.  And yet, full price is just part of the equation.  If a seller is willing to accept a relatively small down payment and carry the balance, a higher full price can be achieved.  On the other hand, the more cash the seller wants up front, the lower the full price. If the seller demands all cash, barring some form of outside financing, full price lowers – and, in most cases, the chance of selling decreases as well.  Even in cases where outside financing is used, such as through SBA, etc., the lender will do everything possible to ensure that the price makes sense.

Sellers should understand that both what they hope to accomplish in the sale of their business and the structure of the actual sale can dramatically influence the asking price.  Price is obviously important, but other factors may be even more important.  For example, consider a seller with health issues who needs to sell as quickly as possible.  In his case, timing becomes more essential than price.  Another seller may place more importance on her business remaining in the community.  In her case, finding a buyer who will not move the business may supersede price or certainly influence it.

Likewise, the structure of the deal can both influence price and be a more significant factor than price to either the buyer or the seller.  The structure can dictate how much cash the seller receives up front, which may be more important than price for some sellers.  On the other hand, sellers should also be aware how much the interest on their carry-back can add up to.  If cash is not an immediate concern, monthly payments with an above-average interest rate may be enticing.

These examples all demonstrate the importance of the business broker professional sitting down with the seller prior to recommending a go-to-market price.  During this meeting, the broker should find out what is really important to the seller, as these issues may have a direct bearing on the price.

Sellers should look at the following factors and rank them according to importance on a scale of one to five, with five being extremely important.

•    Buyer Qualifications
•    Full Price
•    Amount of Cash Involved
•    Financing
•    Confidentiality
•    Commission/Selling Fees
•    Closing Costs
•    Exclusive Listing
•    How the Business is Shown
•    Advertising/Marketing
•    How a New Owner Continues the Business

By ranking these items and discussing them with a professional Business Broker, a seller can receive helpful advice from the broker on price, terms, and structuring the sale.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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Resilient Albuquerque Businesses Adapt and Thrive

Congratulations to Albuquerque small businesses! According to a recent study conducted by e-commerce company Square, Albuquerque’s Main Street businesses ranked Number 1 in increased rate of e-commerce adoption following the COVID-19 outbreak. The ranking signals Albuquerque businesses’ agility and grit.

“We’re inspired every day by the ingenuity of small businesses in the face of a rapidly evolving environment,” writes Square. “They’re pivoting business models, building online operations in days, and even selling completely new products to stay ahead.”

Albuquerque businesses saw an 800% increase in online sales. The study’s methodology states, “Increase in adoption is defined by the percent increase in sellers who took their first payment using Square Online Store during the given time period (January/February vs. March/April).”

“It represents resilience,” says David Rusenko, Square’s general manager of e-commerce in the Albuquerque Journal. “It shows that the Albuquerque business community exhibits significant nimbleness and resourcefulness when forced to adapt to new situations. When faced with the challenge (of the economic crisis), Albuquerque was the city where businesses stepped up to the challenge and did so at the highest rate, more so than any other city. People just didn’t roll over.”

“Upgrading to an online presence doesn’t mean eliminating brick-and-mortar operations; it supplements a brick-and-mortar and gives customers more options and more flexibility at a time of uncertainty,” he adds.

In the same article, City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department Director Synthia Jaramillo writes,

Mayor Tim Keller and the city of Albuquerque Economic Development Department leapt to action to support small businesses in March as COVID-19 began to majorly impact the operations of small businesses. EDD immediately developed and deployed the Micro-Business Relief Program, providing a diverse array of 150 qualifying micro-businesses with working capital grants of $5,000 each. Also, utilizing $200,000 in funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the city has been making grants available to restaurants, breweries and food trucks to support the set-up and operation of outdoor dining options, and it waived permitting and inspection fees for building out patios.

We’ve written before about Albuquerque’s tremendous entrepreneurship scene. If you would like to join this inspiring community of business owners, we can help! Check out these businesses for sale and contact us for more information how to buy a business in thriving Albuquerque.

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Yes, Your Small Business Can Survive and Thrive in the Age of COVID-19

By: Elena Stewart

If you run a small business, chances are you’ve been put in a very uncertain position since COVID-19 reared its ugly head. But despite the obvious and many challenges that the current situation has put forth, the fact is, there’s still more than one way to keep your business going and even thriving during this dark time and whatever will come after. Let’s take a closer look at the measures you can take.

Take It Remote

If you’re yet to take your small business remote, the pandemic may just be the push that you need. After all, the alternative of shutting down your business entirely is a lot less compelling and definitely out of the question. The fact is, there are plenty of reasons why running your business remotely is the way to go during the pandemic and beyond, and there are many resources to help you do so.

Tap the Right Talents

Running a successful small business that will stand the test of the pandemic and time, in general, will ultimately hinge on how things are getting done. Of course, you shouldn’t have to do it all on your own. It’s crucial to have the right people on your team, yes, but it’s just as important to learn how to keep your overhead low by turning to freelancers.

  • Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, freelance workers were already the popular choice for many businesses, big and small.
  • Indeed, it’s interesting to note how freelancers and small businesses have been helping each other thrive.
  • Thankfully, it’s easy enough to use online job boards to find freelancers these days.
  • For instance, if you’re looking to breathe new life into your website, you can hire a Squarespace designer from job sites like Upwork.
  • But of course, you’ll need to have solid hiring measures in place, too, so you end up choosing the right freelancer.

Freelancers are certainly already equipped to work remotely, but, if you’re looking to hire a full or part-time employee, make sure to clarify the position is not in-office. Many will already have a home workspace set up and ready to go; others may need time to get their home ready for the job.

Turn to Tech

Thanks to amazing advances in technology, it’s possible to run a business online. This is undoubtedly a godsend in the age of social distancing. And yes, your small business is bound to benefit in more ways than one with multitudes of tech tools, apps, and resources now available today.

  • There’s no shortage of great online marketing tools you can use, too, to attract new businesses and retain current ones.
  • Finally, you’ll need an arsenal of remote work tools and apps to keep your business running smoothly and your productivity and focus at an all-time high.

Ultimately, it’s not enough to just aim at keeping your business afloat to weather the pandemic; you’ll need to look for opportunities for innovation and growth, as well. And yes, they are out there, so make sure you’re looking onward and forward so your business is successful.

Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

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Love What You Do! Buy a Business that Aligns with Your Goals

Can you make money and follow your dreams? Yes!

A recent article at Entrepreneur posits a framework for deciding if you might be able to turn your hobby into a business. The piece (very reasonably) revolves around the potential for monetization. “Even if you’re pursuing this mostly because of your passion,” writes SEO.co CRO Timothy Carter, “you’ll still need a stream of income to offset your costs and keep the business running.” Uncontroversial!

Carter suggests the following points to use as a fulcrum between “for fun” and “business model:”

Production. One of the most straightforward options for hobbies that involve physical production is selling the physical goods you create. You can sell your art, your crafts and your structures for a price that exceeds your costs. Thanks to the prevalence of online platforms, this is a highly popular option: There are 2.1 million sellers on Etsy alone.

Viewership/readership. You can also make money just by attracting a sufficient readership or viewership. Producing blog content or regular video streams about your hobby can be your route to a steady audience; from there, you can monetize your practice with sponsorships, affiliate links and advertising.

Education. Even if the other paths don’t pan out, there may be a path to monetization by educating people on how to engage with your hobby. You can charge for lessons, private coaching sessions or group seminars; the only prerequisite is a sufficient skill level.

“The bottom line,” he concludes, “is that you’ll need to find some reliable way to generate revenue. This is possible for nearly all hobbies but is more promising for some hobbies than others.”

Production, however, can be hard to scale without sufficient systems in place. And viewership and education depend on standing out in a very crowded content consumption market.

We’d like to suggest another way: find an existing business that aligns with your passion and goals that’s for sale. Purchasing a vetted business allows you to avoid many pitfalls of creating one from scratch. “Your chances of success are far greater buying an existing business than starting your own,” says Michael Greene, President of Sam Goldenberg and Associates.  “A good broker can help you find an established business that already has a proven success model, history of revenue generation, and immediate cash flow. It can also come with much more: inventory, trained employees, a customer base, operating systems, equipment, vendors, transitional support—the list goes on. It is a more manageable risk than other options.”

“Finding an existing local business for sale can often be less risky and more satisfying and rewarding than starting completely from scratch,” says Simon Brackley, former President and CEO of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. “Aspiring entrepreneurs can enjoy improvements in operations, marketing and strategy rather than starting from the ground up.”

The realm of small business is vast. If you’re concerned you can’t find a business that fits your goals, you might be surprised. Our current listings alone include art galleries, publications full of character, design studios, restaurants, a dog daycare, spas, and more. Furthermore, Baby Boomers are entering retirement age and facing choices about prioritizing health and energy post-pandemic. As they make shifts in their lives, the market for businesses is likely to become even larger and more diverse.

This has been a weird year, but the bright side is that many of us have used this time to reflect on the changes we’d like to make in our lives. Consider buying a business that helps you live your values, master your own time, and pursue your own dreams–all while mitigating risk and uncertainty. Contact us to learn more and embark on a path of business ownership and work that you love.

 

 

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Considering Generational Strategies

When you are buying or selling a business, you might very well end up making a deal with someone from another generation.  Therefore, it only makes sense to take the time to understand that individual’s background and how that might cause behavioral differences.  It is important to understand and reflect upon where many of them are coming from and the collective experiences and trends that shaped their identities and perspectives.  At the same time, you can identify your own biases, strengths and weaknesses that may be caused by your own upbringing.

The strategies in this article originated from Chuck Underwood, who is considered a leading expert in the diversity of communication styles between generations.  He is the author of a major book on the subject as well as host of the long-running “America’s Generations with Chuck Underwood” on PBS. 

Generational Sensitivity 

Underwood’s perspective is that people of each generation were molded by their unique formative years.  The decisions that buyers and sellers make will be impacted by their generation.  Mostly likely, the buyers or sellers you will be coming into contact with will be either Baby Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials. 

It only makes sense to pay attention to the generation during which colleagues and/or negotiation counterparts were raised and adapt your approach accordingly.  Understanding generational differences will help you get a leg up on the competition while at the same time helping you and your interlocutor to achieve your goals.

Working with Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are a major force in the business world.  While they often possess a patriotic passion to improve the country, they were also witness to a time of great change via many movements including the civil rights and women’s movement. 

When you’re dealing with Baby Boomers, it is important to remember that they will want to build relationships and get to know you.  Common courtesy is very important to Baby Boomers.  That means they’ll expect you to show up on time and turn your phone off during meetings. 

You’ll want to keep in mind that older Baby Boomers may be experiencing hearing and eyesight loss.  As a result, you’ll want to keep your type and font size larger, and make text easy to read. 

What is Generation X?

Generation X (or Gen X) had a wildly different formative experience than the Baby Boomers.  Generation X is generally defined as being born from 1965 to 1980.  This generation spent its formative years from the 1970’s through the 1990’s.  In stark contrast the relatively more pleasant and optimistic childhoods of the Baby Boomers, Gen X had a rougher ride. 

America became more mobile during the time period during which Generation Xers grew up.  As a result, many children were uprooted and separated from their friends, family and hometown roots.  Growing up, these individuals witnessed a variety of scandals ranging from political and religious figures to sports figures.  Gen Xers witnessed the systematic dismantling of the American middle class and with it a general lowering of quality of life, opportunities and confidence in corporations.  In the end, Gen X was quite literally left home alone and lived as “latch key kids.”  It is no wonder that this neglected generation has some issues.

Individuals growing up during this time learned early on that they had to be ready to fend for themselves.  Since Gen Xers have been met with consistent and systematic disappointment and even wide scale institutional betrayal, this generation, on average, is more distrustful of organizations. 

Gen Xers are self-reliant and independent and one of their core values is survival of the fittest.  In his view, Gen Xers are self-focused, individualistic and want everyone to skip the nonsense and get to the point.  They have no real interest in getting to know you or playing a round of golf.

Working with Millennials

Millennials spent their formative years in the 1980s and early 90s.  They are a very optimistic and tech savvy generation.  They are also the most classroom educated generation in history.

It is also very important to note that Millennials are the most adult supervised generation in history.  So-called “helicopter parents” who work to protect their children from setbacks are the norm.  Employers find that Millennials are entering adulthood, but are still relying upon their parents to help them make decisions and even career choices.

Where Gen Xers are distrustful of the “wisdom of their elders,” Millennials actively seek out such advice.  Likewise, Millennials tend to volunteer a good deal and look for ways to solve the world’s largest problems.

You will find that Millennials will enjoy building a relationship with you.  Keep in mind these individuals tend to be quite socially conscious and they may very well expect you to agree with their views.  Additionally, there is a chance that they will have their parents involved in their business dealings. 

Keep in mind that the de facto tech addiction, or at the very least acute overreliance on technology, has led to issues with Millennials’ soft skills.  They can often lack the ability to read another person’s body language and adjust accordingly.

In the end, regardless of what generation you are working with, it is important that you continually adapt.  This will greatly increase the odds of cementing a successful deal.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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Economic Development Releases Latest County Reports: Community data highlights activity in all 33 counties

The most up-to-date economic information for the State of New Mexico, including all 33 counties, is now available on the Economic Development Department website.

The County Reports project is an initiative by the EDD to offer more comprehensive data about spending, unemployment, and wages to local communities, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said.

The most recent data covers the last three months of fiscal year 2020 – April, May, and June. The reports are available here.

“We know this first-of-its-kind project has been an asset for legislators and local decision makers as they look at their own communities to see how they need to diversify and grow jobs after the health emergency,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “These reports can provide valuable insights for them as they work with us and all their other partners to rebuild jobs and make their economies stronger.”

Highlights

The newest round of county reports show that in the 4th quarter of 2020:

  • Overall Matched GRT statewide declined 2% in the quarter with food and accommodation seeing a 31% statewide decline in the quarter and arts and entertainment dropping 68%.
  • GRT for retail trade, including some online sales, increased 11% statewide in the quarter.
  • Construction GRT statewide was 28% higher in the quarter.
  • Matched GRT has been strong in the smaller counties with large construction project; Roosevelt (+293%) Luna (+237%), Torrance (+166%) and Sandoval (+157%).

About the Data

Deputy Cabinet Secretary Jon Clark said that the latest information is aggregated from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, N.M. Taxation and Revenue Department, Department of Workforce Solutions, U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Clark explained that the data shows the state might be more resilient than first expected, as consumer spending as shown through gross receipts dipped in many counties the last quarter, but remained more steady over the 12-month fiscal year.

“We know accommodations and food services, as well as arts and entertainment, have really suffered, but construction has remained robust, and not just in the counties with energy production,” Clark said.

In a video interview about the county reports, Clark said there is still a great deal of uncertainty because so much of the consumer and business spending was boosted by emergency federal stimulus to unemployed workers, families, and business owners from U.S. Small Business Administration loans.

The decline in federal stimulus money for the unemployed means $40 million less a week in available spending from state residents. “The reports show that New Mexico can climb back out of the hole and we don’t have to have a deep recession,” Clark said. “But we are going to need a little continuing federal support until businesses can fully reopen.”

 

 

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Confidential Business Reviews Should Establish Trust

When you are selling a business, your business broker or M&A Advisor will likely create a Comprehensive Business Review, or CBR.  This comprehensive document can then be presented to prospective buyers once they have signed all necessary confidentiality documentation.  It is essential that this document builds trust between both parties, as this will go a long way towards achieving a successful deal. 

Be Honest

The bottom line is that your CBR will be 95% positive.  The majority of the document will be dedicated towards selling and promoting your business.   Therefore, it only makes sense to disclose some potential problems.  When handled correctly, the disclosure of problems can actually be a strong asset. 

For example, current weaknesses of your business could become strengths in the mind of the buyer.  For example, a business with a very poor online presence represents a substantial opportunity for a buyer to improve marketing and communications.  Summed up another way, don’t be afraid to include negative information, especially if that information represents an opportunity.

Sharing Information

It is important that there is an element of trust between the parties.  Creating that sense of trust begins with the CBR’s seller section. 

Buying a business is radically different from buying a home.  When someone buys a home, they usually don’t care too much about the person who they are buying the home from.  But buying a business is usually a different experience.  Your buyer will want to feel as though they have a fairly clear understanding of who you are and what you are about. 

In the seller’s section, the buyer should get a decent idea of who you are.  Your broker or M&A Advisor will want to interview you to gain ample information to include in your CBR.  Your broker may even want to find out about your family, hobbies, interests and more.  You may even want to consider including photos of yourself and your family.  

The bottom line is that a potential buyer should be able to pick up the CBR and get a good feel for what you are like.  If no level of trust is ever established between the buyer and seller, then it will be much more challenging for the deal to be successful.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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10 Tips for Office Safety

As businesses re-open offices and welcome employees back from working from home, office safety is a huge concern for many business owners and HR leaders. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests these 10 practical and actionable ideas on how offices can adapt to the coronavirus era.

Capacity signage

Social distancing can be challenging in offices that previously packed in workers. Custom-made capacity signs can help control how many people are in various spaces. Offices may have had a single capacity sign before but now they could have many. Every space — whether it’s a conference room, lobby, elevator, kitchen or bathroom — could have a sign mandating the number of people that should use it to comply with state, local and other guidelines.

Check-in stations in lobbies

Lobbies can’t serve as gathering places for now. Instead, some lobbies could be converted into health check-in stations to screen employees. If employees have a temperature or are showing visible signs of sickness, they’d then be asked to go home.

Flexible desk spaces

Shifting workers from dedicated desks to spaced out flexible desks may be one way to accommodate returning workers in some offices. As workers may not come in every day to meet occupancy requirements, this means more space can become general purpose. Flexible spaces could allow for easier cleaning, too.

Hand sanitizer and disinfectant stations

Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes have become much more popular since COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020. Many offices will likely invest in hand sanitizer and other disinfectant products and create stations around the office so people can get a quick squirt of sanitizer, get a wipe to use before a conference room meeting, or the like.

Improved air filtration

Research shows that one of the most prominent ways COVID-19 spreads is through “respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.” As such, excellent air filtration will be a priority for offices that are reopening. CBRE recommends that office buildings work to “increase outside air ventilation rates and filtration efficiency” or to install new filtration systems altogether when needed.

Plexiglass barriers

With open office spaces falling out of favor during COVID-19, a way businesses can help workers socially distance is through the addition of Plexiglass barriers. These large plastic sheets, which are now being used as sneeze guards in stores, can also be designed to block employees off from each other. The plus side to using the barriers is that employees can still see each other and be able to hear one another when speaking while also risking less exposure to the virus.

Social distancing floor indicators

One novel way to encourage social distancing, as outlined by Cushman & Wakefield’s Netherlands office, is to use floor stickers that show how far six feet actually is. Stickers (or custom carpets) can be placed underneath where employees sit in order to show exactly how far other employees should stay from that person when conversing.

Touchless everything

With COVID-19 able to spread on surfaces, offices will likely invest in touchless devices wherever they can reasonably be installed. For example, entry and exit doors can either automatically open or require key fobs to open doors instead of requiring door handles. And in bathrooms, a common place for germs to spread, offices can install automatic sinks, soap dispensers and dryers.

UV-C lamps

While UV-C lamps may have previously only been found in places like hospitals, these devices that disinfect air and surface particles could soon find a place in busy office spaces. While these lamps can be dangerous if people are too close to them while in use, they could be used after hours as part of a coronavirus-inspired deep cleaning routine.

Video chat rooms

With many employees working remotely and likely a smaller percentage planning to come in than normal, one smart way to redesign the office is to facilitate meetings in newly dedicated video call rooms. For example, design firm Bergmeyer told CityLab it planned to “turn all of its smaller conference rooms into video chat spaces” and is “experimenting with backgrounds that work well for remote meetings.”

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