Business thrives on inventive solutions and agile responses in testing times. Do companies sometimes fail to apply the lessons they have learned when it comes to their own accommodation or office space?
Firms can quite literally feel the squeeze if they think they have not got the physical space in which to thrive. But is upsizing and relocating always the best option, particularly when it comes to maintaining profit margins?
To Move or Not to Move?
“In London alone, the squeeze on business space is acute, with vacancies falling to a 26 year low in some areas,” explains Paul Giness, property specialist at The Beattie Partnership. “This has led to some businesses looking inwards to see how best to use their existing office space, rather than focusing on trying to expand outwards”.
Paul points out that this notion can apply more generally to businesses looking to improve their bottom line and how they work.
“Just as businesses have strategies for growth, they should include how they manage their accommodation. Only looking at the option of moving to bigger premises can leave you dangerously exposed,” Paul observes. “Sometimes the smart move is not to move at all.”
“Office space can be a drain on resources, so rather than trying to get more of it, the solution is to make the most of what you already have,” Paul says.
Is there Room for Improvement?
There are various methods for maximising existing office accommodation. How effective they are will depend, to a degree, on the flexibility of the business itself, and its willingness to try something different.
“You can re-allocate different areas of an office, look at how you’re deploying your staff, and start being more creative with how you treat your space,” Paul remarks.
Having a more mobile, hot-desking workforce can encourage a more dynamic, creative environment to develop, while helping to maximise existing space. The important thing is to ensure that this works within the culture and climate of the workplace, rather than upsetting or unsettling people.
It may be a case of changing aspects of accommodation – adapting meeting room areas, or merging other parts to form dynamic, breakout spaces.
“The bottom line is that businesses need to preserve their margins and this may involve less obvious tactics, such as not moving but adapting,” explains Paul. “Sometimes the correct advice, when it comes to profit, is to encourage creative but practical solutions”.
“It is also prudent to factor in ongoing costs such as business rates, and the impact of the new 2017 Rating Revaluation and in what direction the rates will take following these imminent changes,” concludes Paul.
For more of Paul Giness’ opinions, please visit his LinkedIn post, Office Space: Is Staying the New Moving?
To discover the best options to benefit from your office space, please call The Beattie Partnership on 0161 228 2224 or visit bepart.co.uk.