When considering your office space, it can be tempting to believe that bigger is better—but that’s not always the case. It’s worth taking a critical look around your current office to determine if a different setup is a superior solution to moving. Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide if relocating to a bigger space is the right choice for your organization.
1. What’s important to us?
Ask yourself what you like about your current space and what needs to be maintained should you decide to move to a larger space. Consider proximity to public transit or main roads, ease of access to clients, exposure to networking targets and if the prestige of address is important. Take into account the area and its neighboring businesses. How close are you to your competitors? Does the neighborhood suit the kind of image you’re trying to project? If your company relies on walk-in or drive-by traffic, do heavy research before investing in new real estate.
2. What would the actual cost of a move be?
The cost of moving can add up quicker than you think. Hiring a moving company, purchasing packing materials and employing a cleaning service are all expenses that must be accounted for. As well, once you’re in the new space there will be other expenses such as furnishings, decor and utility start up fees. Using analytics, you can make a thoroughly researched and data-driven decision about whether relocation is right for you.
3. Will a different space support our established culture?
Nothing helps form a company culture quite like the office facility where all of the day’s activities play out. Decisions are made, relationships are built and memories are created within the walls of the office. Examine how your physical space encourages the styles of communication that happen daily. Would a bigger space mean people are more spread out? And does that make it harder for informal collaborations and connections to happen? Does a snugger environment encourage people to talk more frequently and delve deeper into solutions? It’s also important to take a look at how your space currently accommodates inclusivity and whether the new space meets all your accessibility requirements.
4. Will moving disrupt our business?
The answer is inevitably yes, even if it’s just temporary. There will be new phone lines to set up, employee work hours lost in transit and an adjustment period that will likely slow business down for at least a few days. There will always be unforeseen hiccups that come with any move, so consider executing it during a slow time of the year or month. A move manager tool can help streamline an office move by making sure you don’t miss a step along the way.
5. Can we create new meeting spaces with what we have?
You’d be surprised by what you can come up with if you get creative—there are plenty of ways to introduce alternative meeting spaces that can spur on imagination and inventiveness. Scope out rooftop space, fit some couches in a cozy corner, incorporate feng shui or get creative with standing meetings. If that doesn’t suit your office’s culture, you can create new meeting spaces through more conventional means like room dividers or pre-fab walls.
6. Is there usable space we’re overlooking?
If your current space isn’t filling all of your team’s needs, consider the ways in which the space you have is being utilized and whether there are better ways to organize it. In some cases you might just need a rearrangement of office seating. Space management tools and space utilization reports can show you where real estate isn't being maximized and help you make smarter allocation decisions.
7. Should we update our guest policy?
When moving to a new workplace, you may consider revamping your visitation policies and tools, especially since your new facility is unfamiliar to you and other staff. It will be important to have processes in place to keep track of non-employees coming in and out of your new space—not just for security reasons, but also to make it easier for valued guests to locate staff and vice versa.
Moving an entire office is a big job. That’s why we recommend a combination of organization, solid communication and facility management software to make your life as simple as possible.
Article by David Spend, OfficeSpace