This article is reposted with permission from Rombourne.
There’s no doubt about it; with renting an office, hiring your employees, and ensuring you have all the resources you need to make your business a success, starting your own company can be very costly. With all this in mind, it’s not surprising that many companies want to maximise their office space.
As you grow and employ more people, you will have periods when the office is a tighter squeeze! So, to make the most out of your available space, you will need to be inventive with your furniture and storage options. Just consider it as the perfect opportunity to really be creative!
Not only that, but less space equals less room for clutter, which will help your employees’ organisation and no doubt improve their overall efficiency.
Ready to get inspired? Here are our top tips for making the most of your office space…
Rethink your meeting rooms
If you need to save space in a smaller office, then it might be the time to move away from ‘traditional’ meeting areas. In fact, although meetings are still very much a standard part of office life, recent years has seen a shift in how businesses operate, with many opting to boost their creativity by turning this idea on its head.
Case in point? The ‘huddle’; a popular style of meeting that encourages faster and often more effective discussions. As these meetings tend to be just 15 or 20 minutes long (with their priority being to share company updates and give a quick overview of what each team member is working on), all attendees should stand throughout, which eliminates the need for a meeting room in this instance.
Need something more private? If your office is in a shared building, you should also take advantage of booking communal meeting rooms – after all, they’ll already be equipped with everything you need to run your meeting!
Alternately, you can show the personal touch by visiting your clients at their premises (when needed), or you could even ‘Skype’ or telephone conference if they’re based in a different town or city.
Remember, less is more!
As we’ve already explained, the business world is gradually becoming less and less corporate, with the focus being placed more on collaboration and creativity. Take advantage of this (while saving space in your office to boot) by ditching rows of separate desks and positioning them opposite each other. This not only make it easier and more natural for teams to converse with each other, but this arrangement will enable you to slot more desks together in less space.
Another way to make the most of limited office space is to have a ‘hot desk’ policy (where employees work from a different desk each day), and allow remote working. Yes, it might be more unconventional to have a lot of your staff working away from the office, but with many businesses now moving their documents online, it makes sense.
Hot desking and remote working not only make for a better working environment as everything needs to be clean and clear, but as it also allows for increased flexibility, we’re sure your staff will thank you for it!
Google, Apple, and Microsoft are just some of the companies that already champion remote working, and even the really traditional companies (like Barclays) have taken this idea on board.
The days of big onsite server rooms, wire tangles and PBX cabinets are almost a thing of the past.
Technology is moving into the cloud often via a ‘Software as a Service’ licencing model (SaaS). This means all the infrastructure, and processing power required to run everyday applications is held remotely “in the cloud”, and you just need an Internet connection to access it via your computer.
One of the key benefits of using cloud based technology (such as Microsoft 365 or using softphones instead of desk phones) is that you can get a full range of applications, such as Microsoft office, plus access to all your data from anywhere, home, office, or on the move.
You simply need an Internet connection, and a laptop to ensure your staff are in constant contact with the rest of their team.
John Volanthen from Hub Network Services (HNS) has given some practical advice about transitioning to the Cloud. He said: “Setting up an office that relies on cloud-based applications removes much of the pain and cost of running and supporting traditional servers. It does mean, however, that you are very reliant on Internet access.”
“Your Internet connection must offer speed, quality and resilience. HNS provides Internet access at all Rombourne sites, where a minimum of 2 lines are used for instant failover and recovery. Speeds of up to 1Gb/s are available for demanding users. Our network availability across all Rombourne sites over the last 5 years is more than 99.99%.”
Don’t hold onto clutter
When you work in a busy office, it’s easy for clutter to pile up; especially if you print a lot of documents for meetings and other important discussions. We’d suggest jumping on the trend of implementing a paperless office, and only keeping paper copies of the things that are really necessary; think contracts, invoices, and anything else you’ll need to have back-ups of.
When it comes to training manuals, event brochures, and any staff memorabilia, you need to use it or lose it, we’re afraid! Although it may be tempting to hold onto the likes of old training manuals in case you ever need them, it’s likely they’ll just go unused.
These resources should be updated (as soon as possible) and scanned – this way, they can be saved in a cloud storage system to be accessed by any member of staff at any time they need. There are plenty of cloud storage options to suit all needs and budgets, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive, as well as a number of dedicated companies that will happily (and securely) shred your old business documents in bulk.
Make the most of your storage
Now that you’ve culled the clutter, it’s time to re-think how you store what’s left. This is where you’ll have to be a little creative, and utilise more conventional spaces you have available. For example, take the skyscraper approach and pile your cabinets high, rather than wide. This way, you can utilise higher shelves for any documents that don’t need to be used as often, and store stationery and anything else that needs to be used on a daily basis on the ones that are easiest to reach.
Feeling inspired to overhaul your storage options? Shelfstore offers a variety of shelving systems and bookcases in a range of shapes, heights, widths, and depths to fit the available space in your office. If you know what depth you need, their Design Wizard tool will also enable you to build your own custom shelving system, down to the height, width, and number of bays and shelves!