What happens when your company starts outgrowing your office, but you can’t necessarily afford to move somewhere bigger? How do you manage your growth when your space can’t grow with you?
Maybe your space can’t physically get bigger…but it can grow with you.
Between commercial interior design and open office solutions, it’s possible to leverage your office space’s potential and actually increase productivity and profits.
Office Design to Help Your Space Grow With You
Most offices are designed to fit desks and chairs into a space. Efficient offices are designed to fit work tasks around the people that need to complete them.
If your office was put together by a builder or a contractor, odds are that you’ve got lots of wasted space that drains your efficiency. Rather than cramming more people into that same clunky space, consider how your people interacting with their work environment.
Updating your office interior design could be a cost effective way to facilitate your growth.
Start by removing appliances and fixtures you don’t use.
Do you actually need a printer? The two or three times per year that you print documents might not justify the space that the printer, paper, and supplies occupy in your office. For the few occasions you really do need printed materials, your local FedEx store can probably handle it at a reasonable price.
Could you digitally store all the stuff that’s crammed into your filing cabinets? Holding on to paper documents is a bad habit that a lot of companies are trying hard to give up. Quit paper, go digital, and see how much more time and space you have for stuff that matters.
Is there any real need for your team to work in individual cubicles? Putting walls between people leads to petty, territorial behavior. Take down the cubicles, let people share table or desk space, encourage movement, and you’ll notice that people who have the chance to make eye contact and talk will begin to collaborate and innovate.
Just because something is “normal” in an office doesn’t mean it belongs in your office.
Clear out corporate clutter, live like a scrappy startup, and you’ll be surprised at what your office environment can do.
Modular Office Design
If you own your office space and you have the option to remodel, consider upgrading to a green office design with modular elements.
Modular design means that each individual component is interchangeable, sort of like Legos.
In terms of your workspace, building an efficient, modular office allows you to easily move walls, change your office layout, and reorganize to suit your changing needs as many times as needed. It’s the most convenient and efficient way to create an office that grows when you grow.
Open Office Solutions
Sometimes, you really will have more people than you can comfortably fit in your space.
Organizing employee shifts so that team members work on opposing schedules helps ease some of your crowding complaints, but the drawback is that you’ll essentially have two teams that rarely talk to each other, and you have to stay open longer, which might not be an option.
Remote working arrangements are becoming more common, too, though there are also some obvious shortfalls there.
With an open office, there are two ways to alleviate your growing pains.
The first and most obvious way to leverage open office space is to locate some (or all) of your employees in shared open offices. The cost tends to be lower than leasing exclusive space for yourself, but you have less control over your environment.
If you’re in a position to be bold, though, you can leverage the open office model to help you pay for an upgraded space for your own company.
Choose a space that’s larger than your current needs, upgrade it with an environmentally efficient modular design, and lease office space to other entrepreneurs and startups while you locate your more established company in that prime space.
When your company starts to grow out of its office, it’s an exciting time. Growing pains are a side effect of success, after all.