Image this: It’s Monday and you are planning to head into the office to see your team and get an energy boost from in-person collaboration. You show up to your floor, which is one of 4 in this location, and it is mostly empty. You run into your Facilities Director and can see the look of worry on her face. She knows that the office is being underutilized, but by how much? And how do employees need the space to function so that they get the most of their time in-person and on-site? In short: when and how do you reduce your physical footprint?
It’s likely that you don’t have to imagine this. Especially if you are a facilities director or manager. Consolidating office space can be a strategic move that optimizes costs, enhances productivity, and promotes a more flexible work environment. But how to go about it can feel daunting.
In this blog, we outline the roadmap for when and how to consolidate your office space, and factors to consider along the way.
Assess the Need for Office Space Consolidation:
Before embarking on an office space consolidation journey, it is crucial to evaluate the need for it. And with more than intuition, this requires real data.
To know what you need moving forward, you need to understand how you are using your space right now. How often are employees in the office? What spaces are used most frequently? What trends exists or if you have a policy, are people following it?
You can gather this data in a number of ways. Excel spreadsheets, manager reporting, or streamline the process with tech tools like Capella’s Platform for Hybrid Working.
Redesigning the Office Environment
Once you decide to consolidate office space, you’ll need to reimagine the physical workplace to accommodate your hybrid working needs. Ideally you want to collect data in step one that helps you understand employees’ motivations and needs for the office space but here are a few common layout strategies to also consider:
Flexible Workspace Layout:
Implement flexible office designs that prioritize collaboration areas, meeting rooms, and shared spaces. Create an environment that encourages interaction and teamwork while also providing private spaces for focused work.
Hot Desking and Activity-Based Workstations:
Implement hot desking and activity-based workstations, allowing employees to choose their workspace based on their needs for the day. This approach optimizes space utilization while fostering a sense of choice and autonomy.
Invest in robust technological infrastructure, including video conferencing systems, project management tools, and cloud-based collaboration platforms, like Capella’s. Seamless virtual communication and efficient digital workflows are essential for hybrid teams.
Continuing the Success of Consolidation
Consolidating office space is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and execution. If you have approached this process from the standpoint of metrics and data around how the office is actually being used, there is a good chance you have emerged with a re-design that functions well for your employees and has positively impacted your bottom line as well! But company, and employee needs can change. It’s important to continue to measure and monitor how your space is being used. Do you have the right amount, and the right mix of space for your business to thrive. Perhaps further reductions will be possible, or if working needs change, you may need to consider the mix of focused versus collaborative space.
Consolidating office space with the integration of hybrid working models is a forward-thinking strategy that can optimize costs, foster productivity, and adapt to the changing work landscape. By assessing the need for consolidation, redesigning the office environment, and continuing to monitor how you use your office space, organizations can successfully transition to a flexible and efficient workplace.