Make the most of your office space

Office space costs money. So whether you are planning to work from home or rent office space, you need to justify every bit you use.

You should work out carefully exactly how much space your business will need. Check out the following key tips to help you make changes where you can. Just a few minor adjustments can produce a lot of impact.

Be flexible

If you are renting office space, consider the number of employees you have, and whether you plan to take on any more in the near future. Then work out what space each person will need – an open plan office will give you more flexibility in the long-term. If you have a set of employees who are not likely to be in the office at the same time all the time (for example a sales team) then consider whether these people can share desks between them.

Hotdesking is also an option. This is where employees set up office at an available desk. When they’ve finished working, they move on and leave the desk available for someone else. This offers you flexibility and enables you to factor in one desk for use by several employees at different times, or by employees who work mostly from home, but who may need to pop into the office from time to time.

Share your resources

Reducing the amount of space you use can mean a substantial decrease in your rent. You could consider sharing your office space with another company, and even sharing equipment and administrative staff.

You can also reduce the space you might need by giving your employees the option to work from home, particularly with the the fact that laptops and other mobile equipment are now very competitively priced.

Another way to help reduce space to save on costs is to consider storing items such as files and office furniture. There are several companies that provide cost-effective business storage.

Working from home

Most start-ups will choose to set up their first office from home, so it’s important to be as inventive with your space as possible. You must establish a ‘working’ space that is separate from your home space, as this will help with discipline and concentration.

Consider investing in furniture that will help you to store your paperwork and equipment efficiently. Putting up as many shelves as possible is also a good way of freeing up space. Check out our Homeworking section for additional tips.

What use you make of space will also depend on the type of business you are running. For example, if your business requires you to meet with clients on a regular basis, it’s worth spending money on renting out ready-to-use meeting rooms from companies. This allows you the flexibility of paying for space when you need it.

A virtual office facility is also an option if you need additional facilities such as a secretarial service, a business postal address, teleconferencing or fast internet access for a given period of time. Virtual offices can provide some of the benefits of having a normal office (e.g. a central address, phone call management, a receptionist etc.) but without the associated costs of renting. See also: The benefits of virtual offices

Storage tips

If you choose to make the most of your space by storing items such as stock, stationery, files, office furniture or display and exhibition equipment, then follow these tips from Big Yellow.

  • Fill boxes to capacity, as partially full or bulging boxes may tip or collapse
  • Heavy items should be packed into small boxes so that they are easy to lift
  • Label or number boxes for easy reference when you need to locate your goods
  • Make up an inventory of your stored items and keep it in a safe place at home
  • Plan your storage space – put those items that you need to get to most often within easy access
  • To maximise space stack similar-sized boxes together

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