How to Manage Office Space Better without Spending a Fortune on Real Estate
Office rent can be very expensive. In fact, it is one of the highest expenditures for most businesses. When setting up new offices (or before you decide you need to move to a bigger space), you need to learn how to manage office space in a manner that does not drain your resources.
Comfort and cost-effectiveness is a tough balancing act but with a little guidance, you can keep your employees comfortable, impress your clients with quality interior design, and still manage to afford your office space.
A considerable amount of office space goes unused in most businesses. This is eating up their profits and slowing down their growth. This is a result of companies blindly acquiring office space.
Of course, we’re not advocated for crowded offices. Quite the opposite! We can prove that you can be comfortable in your office even if it’s not huge.
So, how can you manage office space effectively without spending too much on real estate?
GET AN OFFICE THAT FITS YOUR NEEDS
Getting an office that suits your company’s needs is the first step in ensuring that resources are not wasted on corporate real estate.
Shop around and look at several different available options and see which one is a perfect fit. When you move in, ensure that there is no space left unused.
If you have a lot of unused space, it means that the office might be too big for your venture, or that you are using the space inappropriately. Do not be afraid to relocate to a smaller office – just think about all the money you could save this way.
The bottom line is that all the space should be used effectively in order to compensate the real estate expenditures, and, most importantly, to maximise profits.
RENT OUT IDLE SPACE
Your office could be having idle space that is only used occasionally. Perhaps you got a killer deal on your lease or perhaps you’ve begun to downsize or allow employees to work remotely. Either way, why not rent it out when not in use?
That rarely used conference room can be rented to bring in extra income for the business. The revenue coming in can then be used to cushion your rent expenditure.
Other areas that could be rented out include open fields, rooftops, unused remote offices, and car parks.
USE HOT DESKING APPLICATIONS
Gone are the days when employees had dedicated workstations. With the adoption of agile working, companies are now able to manage office space better.
The hot desking concept has also simplified workspace management significantly. It has enabled businesses to reduce what they spend on office furniture since not all employees are expected to be present in the office at the same time. Companies are now using interior designers to custom make their office space in a way that supports agile working.
Using mobile-friendly hot desking apps will help you manage office space and save you a lot of money in the process. Businesses that use hot desking apps such as the app marketed by iOt Space are cutting down on office rent simply because they require smaller spaces to operate from.
The iotspot app helps your employees reserve their workstation remotely. This way, everyone knows how busy the office or certain areas of it are at any given time. Couple this with remote working and you’ll only need half the space you are currently using.
LEAVE OUT ANY UNNECESSARY BELLS AND WHISTLES
If you are on a budget, do not invest in luxuries such as football machines and pool tables in your office. It is understandable to want to introduce fun and relaxing activities in your office, but remember they come at a cost.
You need to prioritise by equipping your office with the most important stuff first and leave the non-essential add-ons for later. This way, you only get the space you need to work and you don’t have to overspend.
DO YOU REALLY NEED THAT RECEPTION AREA?
A typical reception desk and chair are quite expensive, especially for a startup. As a result, reception areas are slowly becoming extinct as one way to maximise office space. One reason why office receptions are disappearing from the office setup is the rising adoption of agile working.
Many companies are quickly realising that they do not need receptions. Agile offices do not receive a lot of visitors because employees are rarely present. With facilities like video conferencing and cloud-based collaboration tools now being widely used, the need for reception areas is rapidly diminishing.
GO FOR THE OPEN PLAN OFFICE LAYOUT
Open office plans are also an effective way of saving on rent. This is probably one of the reasons why they are a common sight in many office setups.
With many companies expanding their workforce, an open plan office is super easy to reorganise in order to accommodate new employees. There are no walls to bring down and existing office furniture can be moved around without quite easily.
So, when shopping around for an office space, you might want to consider adopting such a layout. You should also seek professional assistance for your interior design just to ensure that you transform your space to suit your needs.
Open plan setups also give you freedom when it comes to office fit out. You can always customize sections of your space for specific functions without much fuss and at minimal costs. Better yet, you can easily get and incorporate the right office furniture that not only enhances the look and feel of the office, but also boosts employee wellbeing.
Finally, and if you don’t do it for any other reason, do it for this one - open office plans greatly improve employee collaboration due to the constant interaction. The collaborative space created by the open office plan can greatly improve the communication between team members and departments. When physical barriers disappear, the mental ones do, too.
CONSIDER SHARING YOUR OFFICE
You may have gotten the office you fancied only to later realise that most of the space is unused. This obviously makes your office look unprofessional.
It also makes you feel as if you are paying for space you don’t really need at that moment – and that feeling is here to stay, much like your rent costs. In such a situation, one of the things that you should consider doing is co-sharing your office space. This will certainly help you manage office space better and still afford your real estate costs.
Co-sharing office space is a concept that is now being widely used in Scotland and the rest of the UK to help businesses, especially startups, cut down on their real estate expenditure. This concept is particularly popular due to its enormous benefits to businesses.
For instance, when co-sharing with one or more people, you create an opportunity to meet, network, and also learn new things from them. The new skills you learn, the new ideas and ways of doing things that you hear about, or even the new contacts you make can be beneficial to your business in the long run. Co-sharing your office can also boost your team’s creativity by up to 71 percent, according to a survey.
And yes, you get all that on top of the savings you make.
Get Furniture that’s Suitable for Your Office Space
The purchase of furniture is one of the most challenging tasks any company has to face. This is partly because furniture can be too expensive, but also because acquiring the suitable furniture for the future can be tricky.
The furniture you acquire should fit right in. If you get awkwardly large desks, and your office is relatively small, you will end up with a congested and uncomfortable office space.
Of course you want the space to be utilised to the fullest. But you definitely do not want it to look overly crowded. A congested office will hinder movement and make your employees feel claustrophobic.
The right size of the furniture will help save space. If you acquire small or medium-sized desks, the office will accommodate more desks or other essential equipment. If they use laptops, employees don’t really need big desks to work at.
It is highly recommended that you calculate the office space in order to ascertain the size of desk you need for each employee or function. This way, you can easily determine how many desks you require, and whether or not the size of the office is right for you.
Otherwise, you may end up paying for a larger office just because you need to fit bulky furniture in it.
Telecommuting Is the Ideal Way to Save Space and Money
Not too long ago, telecommuting was the weird new kid on the block that very few people liked. This is mainly because the concept had not been well understood.
Its benefits notwithstanding, there was stiff resistance from most companies globally. Times have since changed thanks to the millennials joining the workforce massively, followed by Generation X – an even more independent generation that thrives on flexibility.
Telecommuting has not only proven to be an employee productivity booster, but also a cost-saving strategy for many businesses. More companies, in a move geared towards bringing down their operational costs including rent, have deployed this popular concept by allowing their employees to take full advantage of it.
Some of its other benefits include better health for employees. According to a survey by UK’s Royal Society for Public Health, over 55 percent of those surveyed attributed their high stress levels to their daily commute to work.
Aside from keeping costs at a minimum, telecommuting also helps reduce employee turnover.
Let employees come to work maybe twice or three times a week. For instance, if you have ten employees, and you have a space for five desks, you could decide that five employees will work from home for a certain period of time, while five of them will work from the office for the same period of time. If you create a reliable schedule, telecommuting can be very effective.
Agile Working Saves Space
New(-ish) technologies such as laptops, cell-phones, and Wi-Fi have allowed employees to work from wherever they choose to. An employee can work from their house, a coffee shop, or even while travelling.
You might only need a few people who permanently have to work from the office. If the employees have the resources that can enable them work from home, why not let them to work from there?
With agile working, you will need a smaller and less costly office for your operations. You might only need a desk or two – can you imagine how cheap the rent would get?
The same goes for utilities. Electricity, internet, water, heating and cooling all cost less if there are fewer people using them
Incorporate New Technologies that Use Minimal Space
The large and obscure desktop computers are no longer a common sight in most offices. This is because they tend to occupy a lot of space, which means employees would need big desks to accommodate them. Plus, carry-on devices like laptops and tablets make working remotely or from anywhere in the office much easier.
Unoccupied office space, empty conference rooms, unoccupied car parks, idle space in an office and other unused facilities have to be done away with in order to save more space and money. Money saved can be used to boost your business and ultimately improve its competitiveness.
When all available space is used appropriately, your business can perform even better. Incorporate these tips and see how they can help you to manage office space without spending a fortune on real estate.
Not sure how to apply all these to your office? The iotspot app can help.