Posted on 8th January 2021 at 09:19
The one lesson we have all learnt over the last 9 months is things are moving, very fast, and now we must keep pace with that. Over the last few years many of our clients have not focused on their office space, in terms of square metres, but only how they want it to look. The lease comes up and the less painful approach is to cut a deal with the landlord and stick with it.
Now the goalposts have moved, Technology, People & Place are not what they were and it is time to consider a downsize.
So, let’s look at some of those key lessons.
What is the direction?
Homeworking did not prove a disaster, okay so there was some disruption and the technology was not always in place at the start.
People have in the main warmed to home working and going forward would like a more flexible approach to their working lives.
The office is still an essential part of the business, that company DNA those casual collusion opportunities that lead to innovation, so it needs to reflect those requirements along with a more socially distanced approach.
Clearly a plan needs to be put in place, with an office audit being number one priority. Ask yourself what can be removed to aid downsizing and what needs to be added to make the space efficient.
Where do we start?
Paper and filing must come top of the hit list, getting those documents digitally organised is a must and even if you are a year or two away form the lease terminating make the start now, less pressure and an opportunity to test the systems. Once the cupboards are emptied of paperwork they can be disposed of and you will be surprised of how much space they take up.
How many printers, copiers, shredders or post machines will you need going forward? Along with the storage of paper and cartridges.
Returning to work will be different with many staff looking to split their time between home working and the office. If you are looking to implement staff working 2 days in and 3 days out would mean a reduction to 40% of the existing desks needed. Look at desk styles, bench desks, hot desks for those people working between meeting or just picking up emails.
Do you have a reception space and if so, is that needed going forwarded are people going to drop in ad hock, will you have 6 or 8 clients turning up for a presentation, can the reception space be incorporated into the main office ?
What do I need to add?
Staff who are in only a few days every week would benefit in having a locker to keep what they need on a regular basis. People will still want to social distance for a while yet so it might be beneficial to use a slightly bigger footprint desk or reduce long banks of desks, a more broken up approach.
One of the key reasons for the staff to be coming into the office is collaboration. Generally, this involves structured meetings or training so it is important to focus on those key questions, size, purpose and length of meeting as well as technology needed for those meetings. Developing meeting spaces that can deliver on the business’s requirements rather than one large meeting room that offers limited flexibility.
Whats the approach?
From the Blue Goose perspective what is proving interesting is we have been asked to look at space from a number of clients from different sectors and more importantly different sizes. By that I mean companies of 12 to 120 staff are thinking through what the costs are and how their business will look in the future and where there is an opportunity to reduce those overheads, they are taking that opportunity.
At Blue Goose we are happy to engage with you to talk through those opportunities and see if we can help you reduce your overheads and deliver a modern office for your team. Please call 01865 920220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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