Many startups and small businesses share a common problem: the lack of office space. Office rental is one of the biggest overhead expenses that a business can have. However, moving into a bigger space is just not a feasible option for many, thus creating a barrage of problems, such as:
- Not enough space for employees
- Not enough space for equipment
- Lack of privacy
- Increased noise
- Limited movement
- Poor impression on clients
- Limited scalability
Nevertheless, there are many ways a company can make a small office space work:
1. Switch to smaller computers
Computers take up a significant portion of desk space. With space limited enough as it is, having large CPUs and XL monitors just consumes more room than necessary. Not only that, but it can make employees’ desks look and feel cramped.
A good alternative is to switch to the best mini personal computers that the office budget can buy. This new generation of PCs takes up just as much space as a soda can, but without compromising performance. There is also a broad price range on these smaller PCs, making it easier for companies to find a perfect price point and avoid spending more than they do on regular computers.
2. Allow more people to work remotely
Remote work has taken the corporate world by storm, especially during the pandemic. With how accessible telecommunication technology has become, working from home is now a viable option for many.
For companies, allowing more people to work remotely will free up much-needed office space for employees that need to work on-site. Not only that, but having fewer people in the office also means lower overhead costs, including expenses on electricity, Internet, food, water, and office supplies.
3. Get rid of anything unnecessary
One of the best ways to free up space in the office is to get rid of anything that is not vital nor necessary to operations. For example, unused furniture that is taking up closet space should go to the dumpster or in an off-site storage unit. The same goes for obsolete paperwork, which does not serve any purpose other than being clutter.
“Just-in-case” items that have not been used in the past two years should also go elsewhere. If no one has made use of them in the past couple of years, employees likely no longer need them on-site.
4. Replace bulky office equipment
Bulky fax machines, printers, and paper shredders do not belong in an office that is too small, to begin with. Luckily, there are plenty of smaller alternatives to replace them with, which are also often more energy-efficient (and sometimes cheaper) than their bigger counterparts.
5. Forget bigger desks
Desks take up around fifty percent of the space in an average office. The bigger they are, the more space they will consume, and thus the smaller the office will seem. Similar to bulky office equipment, large desks have no business being in an office with limited space.
Instead, companies should go for desks with just enough space for the average person. A 120 cm-wide work surface is ideal for general desk use and should fit an average-sized monitor easily, plus a standard printer if needed. Anything bigger than that will only consume more space than necessary.
6. Remove cubicles
Partitions make any kind of space look and feel smaller than it really is. In a small office, it is not ideal to have cubicles unless absolutely necessary (e.g. for making private calls). Cubicles will only serve to make the office seem smaller, feel more cramped, and be more difficult to navigate. That said, an open layout is more ideal. If there is a need to separate departments, it may be better to do so with glass partitions.
7. Let more natural light in
In both homes and workspaces, one of the best ways to make a small space seem bigger is to let more natural light in. Opening up the blinds during the coolest parts of the day is a great start. Installing frosted tint is also a good option for office spaces that don’t allow window coverings. If there are not enough windows, artificial light can be a great alternative—but only if they mimic daylight and if they are not too straining on the eyes.
Not having enough space in the office may be a hindrance to productivity. Not only that, but it can also make employees feel more stressed than usual. Hence, if your business is suffering from this problem, these are the best solutions to make do with the space that you have until you can move to a bigger place.