Many companies not only find downsizing an effective way to cut costs but also a powerful strategy that can improve company culture, productivity and even employee retention rates. The goal of downsizing your office space shouldn’t just be to find a smaller space but rather to find the optimal space for your employees and business activity.
Over the last 24 months, it is likely that your office requirements have changed substantially thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent Re-occupancy and Re-imagined Workplace Survey, 81% of businesses surveyed said they need to implement a new workplace strategy due to COVID-19. With cost-cutting measures, social distancing and the acknowledgement that working from home (WFH) has become part of the ‘new normal’, many businesses have identified their office spaces as an opportunity to scale back and optimise. If you are also thinking about downsizing your office, then follow our six simple tips.
Set Your Goals
Before you start the process of downsizing your workspace, it is important to determine what you are looking to achieve from the move by setting a clear set of goals. Cost-saving is likely playing a large role in your motives for downsizing. However, you may be looking to eliminate wasted space or to more efficiently distribute your hybrid team. Whatever your reasons for downsizing, it is important to clearly define them before reconfiguring your workspace or moving.
Take Safety into Account
When looking to downsize, it can be tempting to cut costs by moving your entire team to a small workspace to increase the efficiency of your space. However, since the COVID-19 outbreak, it is particularly important to ensure that your office space meets both regulatory and perceived safety requirements.
Since the pandemic, workers have become increasingly sensitive to social distancing and the sanitisation of surfaces. Therefore, the decision to downsize by creating compact office spaces and narrow corridors might not be the best solution.
Listen to Employee Needs
There has never been a better time to find out what each employee wants their way of working to look like. During the beginning of the 21st century, open-plan offices were popular as they were built to encourage collaboration. Although collaboration is important, these spaces didn’t take into account how each employee interacts with the office environment.
Looking forward, many employees are going to want to work the majority of their time from home, while others might be desperate for a return to the office. Remember that different roles are going to require different environments. Therefore, it is important to plan how each member of the team will use the office in order to find the right space and optimise productivity.
Rethink the Workspace
Downsizing doesn’t have to mean that you move to another building. Downsizing could also involve reconfiguring your current space and repurposing common areas to create a space that supports each role across the company.
When downsizing your office, consider the size and shape of your office space or cubicles. How much space do employees need? If your collaboration spaces aren’t being effectively used, can they be turned into smaller meeting rooms or private offices? The goal of downsizing is often to evenly distribute the team and provide it with a space that optimises productivity. Through reevaluation of the workplace, you might be able to achieve this without moving geographically.
Downsizing is also a great opportunity to relocate and find a location that better serves your employees, clients and business needs. Location is very important when it comes to business and employees, even with the WFH orders.
By relocating, businesses can look for an office closer to transport hubs or cycle routes so that employees can cut their commute times and enjoy a better work/life balance — and even promote a more sustainable commute.
Modern office equipment and technology are vital when it comes to successfully downsizing your office space. When optimising your office space, it is a good idea to invest in up-to-date technology that will enhance employee experience and streamline your business operations.
One of the latest forms of technology that is digitising the workplace and helping companies around the world successfully adopt the hybrid working model is workplace management systems. This software is essential for any business looking to offer flexibility and freedom to employees. Desk booking, meeting room booking and visitor management technology, to name a few, can help businesses optimise the workplace experience, cut costs and provide employees with a safer environment.