As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our lives.
And for good reason – working from home has become the norm for the majority of working Australians.
However, the impacts of the global health crisis extend far beyond temporary work-from-home arrangements.
Across all industries, businesses have used the lessons learnt during the historic moment that was the pandemic to rethink work and reimagine the office of the future.
This, in turn, is likely to have major implications for how much space businesses actually need and how much that space costs to meet their needs.
So, if you toy with the idea of shifting to a hybrid or full work-from-home model, you may want to consider downsizing your office to avoid large cost deficits that would otherwise be detrimental to your business.
In this post, we will go through 5 effective ways to downsize your office space and reduce overhead costs – without interfering with your business’s overall performance.
Table of contents:
- Convert your vacancy into a coworking space
- Move to smaller premises
- Take advantage of virtual office space
- Sublease your office space
- Adopt a desk booking system
1. Convert Your Vacancy Into a Coworking Space
Coworking spaces are a great option for freelancers, digital nomads and independent entrepreneurs looking for a flexible, low-cost way to reap some of the benefits of traditional office space.
While coworking spaces might not provide businesses with all the necessary resources to accelerate growth (for instance, they typically include a communal address, not a business address that’s unique only to your business) they provide creative space to suit a variety of needs.
As vacancies lead to lost revenue, repurposing empty commercial space into a functional coworking space can provide considerable advantages.
To determine whether coworking is a viable option for your vacancy, it’s important to consider your business location.
So ask yourself, what is the demand for coworking in that location?
Factors like available parking, access to public transportation, and essential amenities such as high-speed Internet are all critical in your decision, as not all vacant spaces make good coworking locations.
While turning your vacancy into a coworking space may require careful planning, this can help you generate high revenue at low set-up costs.
This way, you can create a stable revenue stream to pay for the office space rental and invest in other areas of your business.
2. Move to Smaller Premises
Are you switching to a hybrid work model?
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers are able to complete their tasks from home without dreading the trek of a daily two-way hour-and-a-half commute.
As the business world begins to adapt to hybrid work for roles that aren’t essential to perform on-site, moving to smaller premises can shed new light on ways to maximise space for new work trends and increased productivity.
However, before relocating your office, it’s important to think about how many people will actually work onsite on a given day.
This will help you identify the extent to which you can downsize.
Once you know exactly how much office space you need, you have to figure out what to do with items such as bulky furniture, office supplies, and records.
For example, you may want to rent storage space or pay for removal services if you no longer need everything in your office.
When downsizing, you want to consider a new office location that is both desirable for employees and conducive to business growth.
In that case, be sure to include in your checklist factors such as access to public transportation, proximity to clients, amenities and lease terms.
3. Take Advantage of Virtual Office Space
A virtual office includes a range of services that enable companies to operate remotely while still having a business address in a specific location.
Virtual offices are well known for being suitable for startups, small businesses, remote workers and freelancers looking to establish a presence in a new market without incurring significant costs.
However, in the remote work era, even well-established companies are poised to leave the traditional office approach behind and transition to virtual office space.
If your team members do not need to be tied to a physical office to get their work done, it pays to consider a permanent shift to remote working.
This would enable you to significantly cut expenses for office space, including rent, utilities, monthly supplies, and in-house staff for daily operations.
Take office space in Melbourne as an example.
While the average physical office cost to rent in Melbourne is $659 per square metre (not to mention the cost of equipping and furnishing your office), a fully functional virtual office can cost anywhere from $40 to $300 per month.
This means you can save serious money you can then invest in the tools teams need to maintain efficiency while working remotely.
4. Sublease Your Office Space
Office subleasing is a fairly common business practice.
Much like house owners rent out their extra rooms to earn some extra money, companies can sublease office space to generate more cash.
Subleasing a portion of your space may be a great idea if you’re looking to downsize your office space, but there are also a few caveats.
Before finding any subtenants to put your extra space to good use, you’ll want to ensure you’re allowed to sublease your office.
So have an attorney read your lease agreement. If it states that you are allowed to sublease, the next step is to seek written consent from your landlord.
Be sure that there are no restrictions on what type of business you can sublease your extra space to (e.g., some landlords may prohibit subletting to an existing tenant in the building).
Additionally, you’ll want to carefully choose your subtenant to make sure you are not subleasing your office space to a competitor.
It may sound obvious, but you do not want to work under the same roof as your competitors.
This might create tension in the workplace, not to mention that investors and partners most likely wouldn’t be happy to know about competitors sharing the same space.
5. Adopt a Desk Booking System
If you’re ready to reduce office space and cut costs, desk booking software can help you transition to smaller premises by optimising your office space utilisation.
A desk booking system is ideal for businesses embracing the hybrid work model where people work from home but also work in an office setting.
This is what desk booking software is all about, helping employees book office space and only use it when they actually need it.
Just think – In a traditional office, your workpoints are 50-75% unoccupied.
So why pay for more office space than you need when team members can share workstations with others instead of having assigned desks?
Plus, most desk booking systems include analytics tools that tell you how spaces are being utilised and allow you to reorganise spaces based on current and past data.
One caveat though: When using a desk booking system, you may expect some workers to be unaware of the policies or forget to book in advance.
In that case, it’s best to have some hot desks available (desks used on a first-come, first-served basis) to avoid turning employees away after their commute.
Conclusion: Over the last couple of years, the global health crisis has focused minds on exactly what the office is.
As a result, an increasing number of employees are currently working remotely or adapting to the hybrid work model – which requires businesses to reconsider office space.
With these 5 tips, it’s possible to cut back on office space and reduce expenses with minimal disruption to staff and customers.
Looking to downsize your office while keeping the space and services your business needs to succeed? Contact us today and we can share how B2B HQ’s virtual offices can help you reduce office space, cut overhead costs, and make your business thrive. To learn more, head over to https://b2bhq.com.au.