Time to get down? How Downsizing Your Office Space Can Work In Your Favour
Office space has changed, time to adapt.
How much of your big office are you really using? Think about all those corridors, the awkward corners, the floorspace where the sun hits everyone’s laptop at the wrong angle so it’s been wholly abandoned… In technical terms, how much office space you use is called your space utilisation rate and companies have a pretty hard time getting this number up. Most businesses only achieve a 50% space utilisation rate on average, which means they’re paying for floor space that gathers cobwebs.
So, what’s the solution to really maximising space? It’s downsizing. Now we know this word has some pretty negative connotations but when it comes to floor space it means greater flexibility when the unpredictable happens (like a pandemic) or when ways of work change (you’ve decided to go 50% remote – permanently – and 50% office based).
A 2020 survey of 500 senior decision-makers from businesses all over the UK found that 37% of them planned to relocate to a smaller commercial space within the year, while 45% didn’t see a situation where all employees would be working in the office at the same time. That means less demand for always-on office space (where wasted space comes standard), and a greater demand for something to suit the uniqueness of each business and the workflow of employees. Brick and mortar, according to this same survey, is still fundamental when networking and connecting with future clients, but companies don’t need the echoey labyrinth of walls and stories they once did.
For some companies, downsizing has presented opportunities to implement hoteling – which involves pre-booking office desks – given staff greater flexibility in working from home (some days on, some days off), as well as modify employee scheduling to shrink the need for office space. It’s also an ideal time to assess what worked in your older, bigger office which you’ll hold onto in the move, and what you’d like to abandon – bulky furniture and bad work habits included. It’s a clean, smaller slate after all.
in co-working spaces they’re usually included in your monthly rental, taking away some of the admin headache. In general, downsizing is used as an overall strategy for cutting costs and improving efficiency without resorting to retrenchments – a silver lining for employees the world over.
Here are a few tips to consider if you’re planning a downsize:
You may not have as many boardrooms, desks and pause areas as you once did so gauge the comfort level of your team before signing on the dotted line. Can they handle the desk proximity for example? General accessibility – like wheelchair ramps – should also be something you keep an eye out for.
If you had a sprawling office complex right off the highway, it wouldn’t be fair to suddenly relocate to an obscure hamlet three hours away. Make sure your downsized space is in a central location and, as far as possible, that employees aren’t putting in extra time on their commute.
If downsizing means splitting your workforce into home and office based, or if you’re working on an at-office rotation system, make sure you have the hardware and software to support the best possible collaboration and outcome for your business.
At Office & Co. we have a great many flexible, affordable options if you’re looking to downsize. Whether you want your team coming in twice a week and need a large boardroom or want permanent desks for a few dedicated employees, we can accommodate your unique needs. Explore our spaces in Joburg and Cape Town today.
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