14th Jun 2021

Do I need to Downsize my Office Space?

Posted in:

According to research from the Chartered Governance Institute, 36% of respondents claimed that their business would be downsizing their office space. In this blog, we’ll look at why businesses are reducing their office footprint, if this is something you should consider too, and what other options there are for your surplus space.

Before the covid-19 pandemic, working from home was almost unheard of in most workplaces. However, the remote working arrangements ushered in by the Covid-19 pandemic have boosted demand for flexible, hybrid work patterns. With this in mind, many employers are now re-evaluating their workplaces to be fit for the future workforce.

Recent research from Jabra revealed that 53% of employees expect to work from home for 1 or 2 days a week. If you are planning on making this an option for your people, your office could quickly find itself with empty desks and extra space. For many employers, especially those looking to cut office rental costs, this is a golden opportunity.

However, before you make the jump, here are a few things you may want to consider:

WHAT DOES YOUR TEAM WANT?

Your team is the driving force behind your company’s success. While some employees may cherish the convenience of working from their homes, others may miss the social aspects of office work. Now is a perfect time to catch up with your team and see what they want their working arrangements to look like.

Ask your employees what environment they flourish in, how, and how much they plan to use the office, and what changes they feel would benefit their productivity. It is also important to keep mental health in mind. Ask if there are any stressors in the office or at home, and if there is anything that you can do to reduce these.

HOW COULD YOU USE THE EXTRA SPACE?

An ‘oversized’ office doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Instead of downsizing, why not utilise your extra space to create agile working environments that foster creative thinking and collaboration? Break out spaces, meeting rooms, work cafes. All of these can help to give people the freedom and flexibility to work when and how they feel is best.

On the other hand, some employees may value quiet, distraction-free working. For these people, you may wish to implement quiet zones and comfortable seating arrangements. By doing this you can help to recreate some of the comforts that they have become accustomed to in their home offices.

Another great use of extra space is on-site gyms and recreational areas. Exercise is an endorphin-booster and can be a great way to start the day, improving happiness and boosting productivity. However, in the wake of the pandemic, many individuals are somewhat sceptical about returning to packed gyms and fitness centres. This is where on-site gyms may be beneficial.

LOCATION MATTERS

If you are considering downsizing, chances are that this will involve moving. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the office itself is not the only benefit of office work. Your employees may have an affinity to the area, the ease of commute, or even the local coffee shop. While seemingly trivial, these things can have a huge effect on employee wellbeing. And in some cases, moving can trigger employee turnover.

Conversely, in some situations, relocating can provide a major boost to employee morale. You might want to consider moving closer to transport routes and cycle paths, and into like-minded clusters and cultural hubs. Not only can this help improve your employees’ work-life balance and increase mental health. In many cases, it will even serve as a workplace perk, increasing your potential employment pool.

TALK TO THE EXPERTS

Whether you are set on downsizing or thinking of repurposing your extra space, Blueprint are here to help!

Our team of experienced designers create agile workspaces that look after peoples’ needs, no matter the office size, so that your people can work to the best of their ability.

If you’re ready to transform your workplace, get in touch for a chat, or fill out the form below to book a free workplace assessment.

Author:

Chloe Sproston

Creative and Commercial Director