If you’re like most business owners, you probably have extra office space that sits empty or underutilized. Whether it’s because your business has grown so much that you don’t need the extra space, moved into a new facility with moving help and couldn’t figure out how to use it to full capacity or because you haven’t gotten around to redecorating the extra room, it can be easy to forget that your office rental is higher than it needs to be.
By reviewing and downsizing your office space regularly, you can help save yourself money in today’s tough economy by finding better ways to use the space you already pay for.
Know What You’re Buying
Office space can be pricey, especially in major cities. But if you’re not using all of the square footage in your lease, there’s a good chance that you’re paying for more than what is necessary. Take a look at this list of questions to ask yourself to help determine whether or not your business needs the amount of room it currently has leased.
If your business is growing, it’s understandable that more room might be needed for new employees. If your business is shrinking, however, there’s no reason to have additional expenses that you’re not taking advantage of.
Understand Your Costs
Before deciding to lease a new office, make sure that the lease is the best option for your company. If your company is growing and needs more room, it might be time to look into a more expensive lease. But if your company isn’t growing, it might be time to rethink your current situation and consider whether or not you’re paying for unused space.
Check Your Current Needs And Plans
It’s always a good idea to look at the square footage of your current needs and plans. If you’re not currently using the entire space, then it might be worth asking yourself if there are ways to use it more efficiently. For example, if you have an area with a kitchen table that only gets used once or twice per week, why not move that area into another room where people spend more time working and less time eating? That would free up some prime real estate for other purposes.
When deciding whether to expand a particular area in your office, ask yourself what is needed by those who work in that specific part of the company. Do they need storage space? More seating? A conference room? Is there any room for creativity and innovation within their workspace?
Analyze Your Options
If you’re paying for unused office space, it’s time to reassess your rental agreement. Firstly, it’s important to read the contract thoroughly. If your contract includes a use clause, then this may be one of the reasons why your contract is costing more than necessary. A use clause states that if the property is not used during certain hours or days then the landlord can increase the rent by a predetermined amount.
As such, try to negotiate with your landlord and either lease the property for fewer hours or fewer days. Secondly, if you work in an industry where occupancy rates are high (such as retail), then consider leasing from a landlord who specializes in short-term leases instead of long-term leases. Thirdly, think about whether or not you need all the offices and rooms that you have rented out – these costs add up!
Think Long Term
Think about how much time your employees spend in the office versus how often they work remotely. If most of their work can be done elsewhere, consider where that work should be done and if it’s worth paying for an entire office for just a few hours of the day. It may not be worth it to rent an entire office when you only use half of it.
Consider which parts of the office are being used during these periods and adjust accordingly. You could also charge higher rates for those particular times so that you can subsidize other costs like utilities or maintenance costs.
There are plenty of innovative tools out there to help determine what is being used in your workspace. Make sure you take advantage of them!