Office Design Debate | Open Space Versus The Cubicle

Open office space versus the cubicle: it’s the office design showdown of the 21st century. Modern offices are becoming expressive, and in some cases, even artistic. The trendsetters in office design are getting experimental with office layouts, with open space emerging as an up-and-rising trend.

Call to mind the prevailing office stereotype, which depicts the office as a maze of cubicles. People sit at their desks, absorbed in their own working worlds. This quintessential image of the office has been the fodder of media satire for years. If you’ve tuned into the “The Office,” or have watched the satirical “Office Space,” you are definitely well aware of office culture humor.

The rise of open space is beginning to shift this office paradigm. Business owners and office designers are recognizing the impact that an office’s configuration has on employee morale and productivity. Many people are beginning to rethink the concept of the cubicle, and devise alternative workstations and layouts. The dawn of office design experimentation is here, with modern offices coming up with some interesting results.

However, not everyone welcomes these changes in office design. The cubicle has some staunch supporters who insist that it shouldn’t ever become a relic of the past. They give some convincing reasons why the cubicle should be a mainstay of office design. After all, they say, there are many good reasons why the cubicle has been such an iconic fixture of the office.

With two sides to every coin, will open space or the cubicle get the cutting edge? To decide, let’s examine the advantages of both.

Open Space Advantages

Increased Collaboration

 Photo Courtesy of Be Interior DecoratorOpen office space does present as a formidable rival to the cubicle. In an open workspace, employees can share, collaborate, and bounce ideas off of one another. It creates more of a team-centered environment where employees can engage their minds with fellow coworkers. If someone has a question or thought, they can easily share with their neighbors. There are no divisions, no physical separation of minds.

For creative businesses, this appearance of togetherness may be ideal, since they are about ideas and innovation. An open floor plan can be just the strategy that invokes creativity in a team of employees.

There is No ‘I’ in Team

Certain businesses thrive most when the office functions as a team, rather than a gathering of individuals. A team-centered environment can create camaraderie, and with this camaraderie, a sense of company pride. Company pride should be a key part of company culture. If employees have a positive emotional attachment towards their company, they’ll feel even more invested in its performance. They’ll be more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, rather than simply put in the hours. The right dose of office banter can actually be fuel for a business.

The Cubicle Advantages


Photo Courtesy of Stand Up CubicleOn the other side of the coin, there are some key reasons why the cubicle shouldn’t be a ghost of office past. Unlike open space, the cubicle gives you a sense of privacy, cutting out needless distractions. It can help you reach that focused, mindful state that helps you get work done. Some people may prefer a more private and self-contained working environment, which the cubicle provides.

Sense of Ownership

The cubicle not only gives you privacy, but also a sense of ownership over your own space. After all, you can decorate the walls of your cubicle with photos, letters, and other memorabilia. It becomes yours. Just take a look at some of your coworker’s cubicles. Unless they’re a minimalist, their cubicles are most likely adorned with family photos, vacation shots, or gag gifts from coworkers. You can express yourself through your cubicle, turning it into a collage of who you are and your office life. Those same cubicle decorations can also be a visual relief from the rigors of work.

Open Space Versus the Cubicle | Which One Wins?

The truth is that there is no winner. Open space and the cubicle both bring undeniable advantages to the workplace. Rather than viewing it as an either/or debate, perhaps it’s best to consider which layout best serves your particular business and industry. For instance, creative businesses may benefit most from an open layout, which encourages collaboration between employees. Conversely, a business in the financial industry may prefer to have cubicles in order to give employees a more private and streamlined focus.

Some businesses choose to go for a more diverse arrangement by bringing the best of both worlds to their offices. A mix of open space and cubicles/private offices can offer something for everyone. After all, different people have different working styles. While some people may perform best when given privacy, others may prefer a more social environment. When planning out the design of your office layout, it’s best to tune into the needs of your business’ industry and the working styles of your employees. Using a bit of strategy and insight can go a long way for your business and company culture.

We turn the question over to you: Do you prefer the privacy of the cubicle, or are you partial to the integrative environment of open space? Let us know in the comments below.


The Top Real Estate Blogs and Websites

Photo Courtesy of 123RFNowadays, it seems that the Internet can give you the answer to just about any question you may have. A Google search yields countless information, served up by blogs, websites, and social media websites. This holds particularly true for commercial real estate and related topics. So, how do you filter through this barrage of information to find the websites that deliver quality and reliable information? Finding the most bookmark-worthy websites on the web can be like trying to find needles in a haystack.

To narrow down your search, following is a list of top websites that consistently deliver the hottest news about the real estate industry. These websites share common characteristics: they’re interesting, succinct, reliable, and well-written. Some of them even feature photos to complement the news stories, which is essential in the visuals-driven industry of real estate.

If you are looking to collect the very best news in real estate, then be sure to bookmark the following websites and blogs.

The Real Deal

Heralded as a top source of real estate news, The Real Deal delivers a steady stream of news on a daily basis. Its name is no misnomer, as it definitely gives you the real deal on real estate. Its news stories are accompanied by vivid photos. Not surprisingly, The Real Deal is a go-to source of news for many agents because it’s both comprehensive and timely. As an added bonus, it regularly features polls and charts that present key industry trends.

Crain’s New York Business

This prominent website should be included to round out the real estate queue. It focuses primarily on the prevailing New York City real estate industry trends and delivers top news stories.

The Commercial Observer

The Commercial Observer is concise and informative, highlighting the major commercial deals that have been sealed. An essential resource for commercial real estate agents, include this notorious blog in your queue if you want to keep informed about the latest commercial leasing transactions in NYC.


LandlordTenantLawfirms expounds upon the technical details of both residential and commercial leases. The website focuses on the process of making a deal from start to finish. It can be used as a lease encyclopedia of sorts, and is a must-read for tenants and landlords alike.

An excellent how-to guide for the business world, features articles that deliver on-point and insightful advice. Its solid team of eloquent writers clearly knows the ins and outs about the business world. Such topics include running a business, finance, leadership and managing, sales and marketing, technology, and innovation.

Real Estate Marketing Blog

As all real estate agents know, marketing is a key part of real estate. This blog gives excellent tips on how to effectively create a marketing platform for your firm and/or listings. Specifically tailored to the real estate industry, you can learn how to manage your social media content, blogging platforms, videos, and more.

Office Design Gallery

Want to feast your eyes on some captivating office designs? The Office Design Gallery is devoted to showcasing offices that get experimental with their interior decor and layouts. These workspace designs reach the very heights of innovation and are designed to inspire creativity in teams of employees. If you’re looking for some office design inspiration, you’ve come to the right place with this eye-catching blog.

Calculated Risk

This widely-acclaimed blog is on the radar of top real estate professionals and economists, and for good reason too. Its author, Bill McBride, has an uncanny way of using his own calculations to detect trends in the housing market and the economy. If you want to keep tabs on the ebb and flow of the housing market, then be sure to follow MrBridge’s projections.

A Student of the Real Estate Game

Joe Stampone, the writer of this thriving blog, uses wit and candor to address a variety of real estate-themed topics. Want real estate investing advice or information on how to thrive as a real estate professional? Then tune in for an insider’s perspective.

Do you have any real estate resource websites you’d like for us to feature? Please share with us! You can submit your recommendation(s) in the comments below.

Capstone Realty News | View Creative, Loft Executive Suites in Chelsea

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Our modern loft executive suites provide all the amenities of a large scale facility, but retain a sense of community and intimate charm due to our boutique size of only nine total rooms.

Ideal for the creative tenant, these charming suites showcase an inviting, brand-new designer lobby, gleaming hardwood floors, a furnished lounge, and glass walls.

Nestled within the inspiring Chelsea neighborhood, the building is surrounded by countless New York City hotspots and attractions, including the historic Ace Hotel, Flatiron building, and Madison Square Park. It’s conveniently situated next to the Eventi Hotel, which serves up delicious dining options for the workday treat.

Transit/subway options include the 4, 5, 6 lines; the N, Q, R lines; and the M and F lines. Walking distance to Penn Station, Port Authority, and Grand Central Terminal.

To take advantage of this rare opportunity, please contact us directly at:

Thomas Murtha | 646.443.8358

Jarad Winter | 646.443.8568

View the flyer below for additional details and floor plan:





Capstone Realty News | Capstone Blog Will Feature Neighborhoods Section

Photo Courtesy of ScottVincentPhoto

With Year 2013 upon us, we at Capstone Realty hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season with loved ones. Is your business planning to move this year? You may envision yourself in a creative, corner office with gleaming hardwood floors. Or, your dream office may have an open layout, so that employees can bounce ideas off of one another in a collaborative and inspiring environment. Using a consultative approach, our brokers will use industry expertise and keen knowledge of the Manhattan office leasing market to secure the office that meets your vision. For more information about the services that we provide, please visit our website.

In other news, the Capstone blog will see some changes this year. A Neighborhoods section is in the works, which will feature each Manhattan neighborhood in resplendent detail. Want to know more about eclectic Chelsea and Soho, or booming Union Square? This page will give you a glimpse into each neighborhood’s personality – the attractions, the hottest dining options, and the types of commercial tenants that the neighborhood attracts. After all, commercial real estate is not just about the leasing and sale of office space. It’s also about office life, such as the local café that serves your anticipated lunch, the bar where you throw back happy hour drinks with colleagues, or the local attractions that you pass by during your morning commute.

Do you have a favorite local hangout or neighborhood attraction that you’d like for us to feature? Please share! You can submit your recommendations to Lauren Strohmeier at

Capstone Realty News | View a Pristine, Creative Loft Sublease

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Located in the heart of Gramercy, this pristine, move in ready loft space is a unique opportunity for a short term sublease.  The space was built in March 2012 and is equipped with new hardwood flooring and an installation that includes glass, as well as brand new fixtures. 

Conveniently located right off Park Avenue South, the building is surrounded by a plethora of restaurants, hotels, nightlife, and many other New York City attractions.

Transit/Subway options include the 4, 5 ,6 lines, the N, Q, R lines, as well as the M, F lines.   Walking distance to Madison Square Park, Union Square, and all of Midtown Manhattan. 


2,000 RSF

Partial 8th Floor | Suite 808

Term thru August 31st, 2015

-Newly renovated, creative loft space-

-One glass paneled, windowed office-

-One glass paneled, windowed conference room-

-Open bullpen area-

-New hardwood floors-

-High, exposed ceilings-

-Three sides of exposure-

-Great natural light-

-Exposed brick walls-

-Wet pantry-

For more information, please contact me directly at:

Jarad Winter | 646.443.8568

View the flyer below for additional details and floor plan:

118 East 28th_8th FLR Sublease_2118 East 28th_8th FLR Sublease_2nd page

Using Pinterest for Real Estate | Pin with a Purpose and Get Creative

Capstone Pinterest PageSocial media is taking up the world by storm, fast becoming the medium through which information is shared. Thanks to websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Linkedin, among others, we are now as interconnected and “plugged in” as ever. Businesses are including these websites in their social media arsenal to promote their services and products.

The real estate industry, in particular, has seen a recent surge in social media activity. Many firms now manage blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and Pinterest accounts. Each website serves its own purpose. For instance, whereas Facebook can be used to funnel information to a target audience, Pinterest can be used to expose photographs to an audience. Used together, a firm can cultivate a well-rounded social media platform, which is essential in business.

Browse the “Architecture” category of Pinterest and you’ll see how its interface seems designed for real estate. Real estate is driven by visuals. People are motivated to buy, or lease, mainly through the images they see. In fact, the well-known idiom, “a photo is worth a thousand words,” is the hallmark of real estate marketing. For instance, when you browse listings, are you moved more by the text or the photos? Most likely, it is the photos that grab and sustain your attention.

How should real estate firms maximize their Pinterest potential? In Pinterest 101: Strategy in 5 Easy Steps, social media expert Ali Maldoff advises that a real estate firm should “pin” with strategy. Aim to add value to people’s lives when you’re pinning. Don’t just pin your listings; rather, pin photos of attractions in the area as well. Pin with a purpose and get creative. After all, when clients are scoping for spaces, they are also looking at the neighborhood, its people, and their lifestyles. Your Pinterest page should be a photographic guidebook, visually capturing the essence of the surrounding neighborhood.

Maldoff also mentions another valid point. Since Pinterest is a social medium, users should be interactive when using the website. You must engage fellow Pinterest users by commenting, ‘repinning,’ ‘liking,’ and ‘following’ other boards. People love feedback, and will reciprocate in kind if you deliver your thoughts and opinions. In my own experience of using Pinterest, people share some remarkable photos of real estate. It’s an endless source of inspiration in office design.

Capstone Realty Advisors has a Pinterest page, which we update on a consistent basis. Our page features a collage of office spaces, cutting-edge office designs, and attractions in New York City. We also feature photos of innovative offices that have devised creative ways to bolster productivity in the workplace. View our collections to get ideas and to get inspired by commercial real estate.

Capstone Realty Advisors’ Pinterest Page

Capstone Realty News | America Works Expands Premises to Queens

Joe McLaughlin88-11 165th Street and 44 Court StreetKevin PhelanCapstone Realty Advisors was recently featured in The Real Deal. America Works inked a deal at Muss Development’s 88-11 165th Street in Jamaica, Queens, the article reported. America Works, a firm devoted to the job placement for hard-to-place workers, wanted to expand their premises to Queens and Brooklyn.

Joseph McLaughlin and Kevin Phelan, of Capstone Realty Advisors, handled the transaction. They secured an office within a Class A office tower that met America Works’ specific business requirements. McLaughlin stated, “America Works only wanted to be located within a small grid in both Brooklyn and Queens that was centrally located [and] close to transportation. . .One of the driving factors for both locations is that the space needed to be built and ready for occupancy by January 1, 2013. Both landlords were able to negotiate quickly and had the resources needed in order to get the construction completed on time.” Article

The Capstone Realty client roster includes Daily Motion, Rokkan Media, and Invision Communications, among others. For the full client list, click here.