GROWING WORKFORCES: HOW TO MAXIMISE OFFICE SPACE
When your company grows and hires more staff, you may feel the need to move to a bigger facility. There are times when there is no choice, but there are also times when you can remain in your current location by making a few simple adjustments to your office.
WHY DELAY AN OFFICE MOVE?
Relocating an office is first and foremost a costly endeavour.
In addition to the higher rental costs for larger premises, you also have to account for the cost of moving, the cost of additional furniture, and the downtime that inevitably occurs during the move.
In this context, extending the time your company spends in its current office can be beneficial for everyone.
CONSULT YOUR STAFF
Happy employees make for productive employees, and cluttered and cramped working conditions naturally lead to tension at work. Relocating, however, may not be the answer.
According to a survey asking: ‘What would concern you most if your current office relocated to a larger space?’ only 4% of office workers expressed any desire to relocate.
Oftentimes, employees are still affected by the disruption of relocating after the move is over. A new office location can have a positive or negative impact on an employee’s work-life balance. Often, employees base big decisions like where to live or where their children go to school on the location of their existing office.
So, before you move offices, you may want to take a close look at your current offices to see if you’re using them effectively-which may extend your time there.
MISTAKES THAT WASTE SPACE
It’s often unnecessary items that take up space in office layouts because they don’t make the most of the available space. There is a lack of space in offices because companies are using outdated workstations from the 90s, fail to dispose of obsolete storage units such as filing cabinets and cupboards, fail to re-arrange files, and accept printed material from supply partners when everything is readily available online.
Ensure that your office is fully fit for purpose, so the space is designed to accommodate people rather than furniture, by prioritising the essentials. If you are running out of space, you may want to archive or outsource any files that are taking up too much. Where possible, encourage the mentality of having a ‘paperless’ office.
In addition, forward planning can help companies adapt their workspaces to their changing needs. Often, companies think ‘let’s fix the space problem now’ without considering how their business will develop in the future. Making sure office space is flexible and reviewed regularly is essential in ensuring that it can accommodate more people as part of the overall business strategy.
THE BENEFITS OF FLEXIBLE WORKING
The best way to utilise all office space is by implementing flexible working, where employees can hot-desk, work remotely, or in break-out areas.
You can use the space much more efficiently if you provide fewer desks per person. Staff and employers alike will benefit from this. The need for physical presence in the same office-in terms of face-to-face contact-is reducing in some industries and/or roles.
The increased use of technology is making it easier to communicate with colleagues, which can affect the need for ‘bricks and mortar’. Increasing building costs, along with operating costs and business rates, has forced companies to rethink their business models.
EQUIPMENT THAT IS RIGHT
Even seemingly small things, like an absence of plug sockets, can make a task so much harder, not to mention test the patience of employees who are trying to do their jobs. Employees are frequently frustrated by this issue. The lack of power and connectivity at fixed desks is one of the major obstacles to successful agile working within a space. Come up with creative solutions to address this issue.
Many older offices lack enough power sockets to power all of the devices necessary for modern work. Therefore, desks must be placed near electrical outlets, leaving staff to rely on a tangle of electrical socket rows to power their equipment.
Thanks to advances in technology, you can make the most of your space with smart power solutions like on-desk power modules, sockets built into soft furnishings, and wireless charging hubs.
EXPAND THE WORKSPACE WITH SIX SIMPLE CHANGES
- Use on-desk plug sockets instead of wall sockets to best utilise available space.
- Organise your workspace
- Set up break-out areas, hot desks, and remote working.
- Get rid of printers and filing cabinets with a paperless system.
- Consider smart storage systems for essentials.
- Get rid of large desks and replace them with streamlined versions.
The simple changes you make will undoubtedly allow you to stay in your current office for a longer period. With a bit of planning, these space-saving measures can actually turn into investments for your future move.
AND WHEN YOU CAN’T WAIT ONE MOMENT LONGER…
Read our article on How to move offices without sacrificing productivity