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Is your office holding back your employees?

Is your office holding back your employees?

The right office space can make or break your business’s productivity so if you feel that things aren’t running as they should lately, or output has dropped, you might want to examine your office design, space and layout. Our surroundings play a big part in whether we thrive or fail and having the right environment to work in can make all the difference to our mood and happiness. Business leaders should frequently examine the size, design and even layout of their office as well as their costs to see what could be done to improve efficiency and happiness levels in their teams.

Are you making full use of your existing space?

Your office might be large and spacious but are you making the best of the available room? Do you have a large reception area that no one uses but find yourself lacking storage or seating in other sections? It might be worth monitoring how many visitors you get on a given day and potentially halving or moving your reception area to a less premium location and put desks or storage in its place in order to take the strain off other sections of your office. If your staff are often working away from the office and rarely receive visitors in the building you could even consider doing away with reception altogether and simply installing an automated system that notifies staff when visitors are here. 

Another area where you might have issues with too much space are facilities. Do you need those large kitchens and bathrooms when your half your staff work from home most of the week? Consider joining these with other companies on your premises if possible, and use the freed space for desking, storage, meeting rooms etc. Often space changes can be made where you least expect them so don’t discount these options. The structural changes might seem costly but weighed against the move to a new building they might be more cost effective in the long run.

Consider your layout

Is your organisation slightly traditional and still uses closed offices for everyone? Do you find people keep to themselves and don’t interact much? If that’s the case it is worth considering converting to an open plan layout. There are many advantages to changing to an open plan layout but it will primarily free large areas of space, bring your teams together more, provide a renewed sense of style and identity and once again make a saving on moving. Teams in open plan spaces tend to interact more and assist each other as conversations flow across the office encouraging contribution from third parties and increasing problem solving.

Going open plan might even update your conventional business image to one that is more progressive, enabling you to appear more modern. Freed space can then be used for more storage, filing, meeting rooms, break out areas and socialising. You could even add welfare areas that will allow your staff to make the most of their time in the office and improve their work/life balance. Many companies are now using the office to offer beauty and wellbeing rooms, saving their staff from having to leave the site to go to the hairdresser’s during their lunch break.  

Open plan offices are also better to manage in the long term by enabling you to easily rearrange your space as your team grows. 

An open plan layout can suddenly propel you into the 21st century and if it’s done right it can increase employee wellbeing and productivity. However, acoustics, decoration and functionality need to be taken into consideration to ensure that you’re improving the space and not adding noise pollution on top of your staff’s existing problems. Carpeting for example, as well as sound absorbing partitions, can provide relief as can specialist furniture designed for open plan offices. There’s nothing worse that redesigning your office and then keeping old clunky furniture which can awkwardly fill an area it’s not designed for. Consider whether your staff use desktop or laptop computers and whether adding screen arms will free more desk space, enabling you to purchase smaller desks. If in doubt make sure to consult a specialist fit out company to avoid costly mistakes. 

When should you move?

Are you in the right area?

We all know the adage: “Location, location location!” We also know that certain post codes are important when attracting professionals within a certain industry so if you’re struggling with sourcing talent and customers you might be in the wrong area for your niche. Look at similar companies in your field and see whether their company’s location is affecting their traffic and consider making a move. Moving your office to a more popular and central site may increase your costs but it will also make you more attractive to young staff who consider location before applying for a job.

On the flip side, is your office in a central location that is costing you above the odds in rent? Why not consider moving to a slightly less popular location, particularly if your staff are able to work remotely? This will save you the premium rental and help you benefit from a larger, newer and more efficient property you can adjust to the needs of both your staff and your customers.  

Are you short of space?

If you’re considering moving office but don’t want to go ahead just yet, consider reducing the amount of staff you have in the office on any given day. Converting your area to an agile environment can halve the number of people taking up room in your cramped offices, lessen your costs and improve employee wellbeing by enabling them to better manage their personal time and give them a better work/life balance. Depending on your growth plans this might buy you some time and allow you to plan an efficient relocation to a site where your growing teams can be happier and more productive. We can guide your through the process, so speak to us if you have questions. 

If furniture or filing are taking up areas you could use for staff, consider putting it into storage. In the case of documents storage companies such as ours can help take a lot of the burden off and safely enable you to use your space more efficiently. Likewise with legacy furniture which might have significance but which you might not afford to keep on your site to the expense of your teams. We can help you store or even recycle this and free your office for more practical uses.

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