Wake-up call for unused office space

Wake-up call for unused office spaceWe all know the jargon term downsizing. This recent case illustrates the concept of rightsizing.

We had an assignment recently that highlighted two very expensive things…

  1. How easy it is to waste space, and
  2. How easy it is to overlook factors I take for granted in determining the right amount of space for a business.

I visited a business where there were workspaces for 12 people, but there was only one person there at the time.

I asked the proprietor how often that was the case and he said, “Well most of the time.”

We sat down and talked through how that could happen.

One workstation was for someone who came in once a week, three were for sales staff who were out on the road most of the time, one was for a director who also ran another business and worked mostly from home, and another was for an admin person who was only occasionally in the office.

In the end it boiled down to the business really only needing two full-time workstations.

As we went through this, it was a huge wake-up call for the business owner. It shifted his thinking about the cost savings of only needing a much smaller space.

But it also triggered new thinking about where the business owner could work from.

It turns out the business is largely self sufficient and the owner, if he chose, could live anywhere in the world and run the business remotely, with all its systems in the cloud.

It was a paradigm shift. Recognising the enormous flexibility a business can have today with location can lead to significant shifts in thinking about overall business strategy.

If you would like to do some further reading on strategies to ‘rightsize’ your office space, I recommend the article Five Ways to Save Money on Office Space in Inc magazine.

2 thoughts on “Wake-up call for unused office space”

  1. Peter you’re right of course – not only are businesses taking a hard look at how much space they actually need, they’re also being provided with new ways of working.

    Technology is of course a key driver, and the Cloud is a huge driver for change. Co-working and activity-based working are also becoming much more prevalent. In today’s business world you can operate from anywhere you choose to be – even Mt Maunganui for example!



  2. Thanks for your comments. Yes, there is a trend to co-working. We tried it out two years ago and liked it so much we are still co-working and ‘In the Cloud’. This means our team can work from the field, our clients’ offices, or even from home.
    The amount of space we need in our office increases/ decreases depending on our needs, so we can keep control of our property costs.

    The Cloud/ co-working approach doesn’t fit the needs of every organisation, but for anyone interested in using their property budget better, its an option worth considering.

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