Guide to office rightsizing
‘Change is the only constant in life’ according to Greek Philosopher Heraclitus. This certainly is the case for business too. Under normal circumstances this article would be focusing on how success and growth drives the need for more space or how recessions can knock businesses backwards with redundancies and the need to downsize. Now, following the global COVID-19 pandemic the needs of many businesses is changing as a result of new working practices, the increased acceptance and success of remote working and the inevitable desire of many workers to shift the work/life balance in favour of life and less commutes. All of this is forcing businesses to review and rethink their workplaces with a focus on office rightsizing, namely determining the right office requirements for the business with this changing environment.
Having worked with many businesses that have gone through scaling up or down their workplaces, we’ve pulled together our 5 step guide to office rightsizing
1. Office layout needs:
The starting point for any office rightsizing project is to identify the short term and medium term needs of the business. There is an important point here which shouldn’t be underestimated. Knee jerk reactions to changes are not always advised. It may well be that the trigger for considering office rightsizing is transient, so always think beyond the here and now as part of your planning. The review should include considering headcount, furniture, storage, meeting space requirements, catering spaces, shift patterns, ventilation options and access/flow through the building. This should naturally lead to a new floorplan design for the workspace and in the current environment it would be prudent to plan for increased spacing between workstations.
2. Changing furniture:
As part of your workplace planning, if you are looking to create more space it would be useful to consider changing your office furniture. Many workplaces have 1600mm desks and simply dropping to 1400mm or 1200mm alternatives can have a hiuge impact in opening up space within the workplace. Likewise clever mobile filing/storage racks can free-up a lot of floor space that was previously used by freestanding office storage cabinets.
3. Storage spaces:
Over the years in business it is extraordinary the amount of archives, files, old brochures and equipment that can be accumulated in storage areas across the workspace. A more ruthless approach to assessing what the business needs to retain can free up a large amount of space in your workplace. The chances are there will be plenty that can either be sent to waste, or recycled, or donated to local community organisations or stored in a suitable warehousing facility.
4. Screening and partitions:
Following the learnings from the pandemic you may wish to introduce more screening and partitions into the workplace. This may be particularly relevant where you have team based workstations and you want to preserve the team proximity but provide suitable screening barriers between workstations.
Following an extensive review and replanning you may find that even with the guidance above you may just not be able to create enough space in your current workplace or that you now have far too much space that you really don’t need to be paying for. In either of these scenarios the answer may have to be a workplace relocation to a more suitable premises. If that is the case we highly recommend reading our Top 5 considerations when planning an office relocation and our Top 5 pitfalls of office relocations.
If you are considering office rightsizing, talk to our Workplace Relocations team at Cronin Movers, where we can provide valuable support in either helping you reorganise your existing workspace, move your excess furniture or files into storage, or plan your relocation to new premises.