Feeling claustrophobic in your current office space? While a period of growth is good news for your company, trying to conduct business in a space that you've outgrown can prove difficult. If you're considering expanding your office space, follow these tips to get the breathing room you need and ensure that you make the best decision for your company.
Rethink Your Existing Space
Expanding your office space doesn't always mean going bigger. You might just need to increase the amount of usable space in your current location. Take the time to consider how well you're currently using your office space. Can you move to an open floor plan that would seat more people? Do you have a conference room that sits empty on most days that could be converted to an office? Is every workspace being used on a daily basis? Are you storing paperwork and other items that could be moved to offsite storage in your space? You may find that rearranging your layout or having workers who are frequently out of the office share workspaces will give you all of the room that you need.
Consider the Future
Has your need for space arisen due to a specific project? Do you have temporary workers or consultants that are taking up more space but will not be in your location permanently? Before you make major moves to expand, it's important to think about the future and if your need for space will shrink in the future.
Relocate if Possible
If your company has more than one office location, take the time to evaluate how much space is available at your other offices. Can you move a whole division or team into another building? Do you have any team members who could telecommute and spend some days out of the office? Investing in new technologies to make communicating with off-site employees is often less expensive than taking on a second property and can have a high return on investment for companies.
Go to Your Landlord
After completing the first three tips, you may find that there is no way to make your current space large enough to accommodate your business. If so, your first step should be to go to the landlord. Find out if there is any additional space available in the building. Renegotiating your lease to include more office space in the building will usually prove to be the easiest and quickest way to expand. It will also cut down on the costs of moving significantly.
Examine Your Lease
If your landlord cannot help you expand, you'll need to spend time reviewing your lease. Find out when your lease is up and what the penalties are if you bow out of your lease agreement early. You may find that staying in a cramped office for one or two more months is economically feasible or that you are better off renting a small secondary location for one or two divisions for a short period of time rather than moving your entire company to a larger space.
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