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Is now the time to downsize your business property?

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The strict lockdown measures put in place in South Africa has meant that many office spaces have been left empty for the last few months. And many will likely remain empty for a few more as businesses are encouraged to adopt a ‘work-from-home’ policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While employees are starting to get used to working from home and businesses are adapting to more remote-friendly processes, you may start wondering whether there’ll ever be a need to head back to the office full-time? If things are working well now, could this way of working carry on for years to come?

Is the full-time office-based working environment a thing of the past? If you can’t quite let go of the idea of having a dedicated business property, perhaps now is the time to start thinking about downsizing?

In the past, downsizing your office space indicated that your business wasn’t doing well. But that’s all changed as even more businesses are transitioning to the remote lifestyle. And having smaller offices, only needed for dedicated tasks.

Things to consider when thinking about downsizing

If you’re on the edge of whether to downsize your office space or not, ask yourself the following questions:

Do you really need all of the space?

Take a look at your current business property and determine if you’re using every bit of space, and is it necessary? Your business needs may have changed over the last few months. While before, you may have had a need for large boardrooms, but that may not be the case anymore. There’s also the sad reality that you have had to lay off some employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If this was a significant portion of your employee base then you probably don’t need as much office space anymore

Can your business adopt a flexible working structure?

Is it possible to adopt a flexible working structure that means not all employees are in the office at the same time? This is certainly good practice in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus!

If more employees are going to be working from home, you could possibly also cut down on some desk space. 

Will downsizing your business property save you money?

Downsizing doesn’t necessarily always save you money in the long run. While a smaller space may cost less in terms of your monthly rental fee, you need to way up the costs of moving and whether or not your company may require the larger space again in the future. 

You need to think long-term and how your company will benefit from downsizing. The last thing you want to do is limit your business growth by downsizing your office space. Make sure that the move is the most cost-effective and efficient move for your particular business.

Is downsizing practical?

Does downsizing mean you’re having to cut important employees or making it inconvenient for your customers? Think about the pros and cons before making the decision. If you can still keep business as usual with the smaller office space, then it shouldn’t be a problem. But if it’s going to negatively affect your employees and customers, then perhaps you need to reconsider or think of another option.

5 reasons to downsize your office space

If you’re learning more towards the decision to downsize your office space, here are five more reasons why you should do so.

1. Save business costs

Whether your business has been negatively affected by the coronavirus or not, it’s always a good idea to save on unnecessary business costs where you can. Freeing yourself of a fixed monthly contract allows you to improve your business practices and allocate those funds to more useful activities. You could also save on things like your office insurance, electricity bills, and general office upkeep costs. As mentioned earlier, just make sure that this decision does actually save you costs in the long run.

2. Location

Is the current location of your business property convenient to all your employees and customers? There could be a smaller property available, that is also more convenient. It’s worth checking out!

3. You’ve managed so far, so why not continue?

There have been many studies done before that have found that employees who are allowed to work from home or remotely are generally happier and enjoy their work more. This upward shift in spirits will positively influence their productivity. Which is great for business.

If your business has successfully worked through the lockdown period, you will have essentially participated in an involuntary experiment about whether or not your company can operate efficiently while working remotely. If you’ve noticed that your employees have had the same level of productivity, or perhaps even a spike in productivity, during the lockdown period, then there’s no reason to not carry on working this way.

4. Continue using the remote tools that you had to set up anyway

The switch to a more remote workforce comes with its own set of challenges and costs. From setting up web-based or cloud-based applications to getting used to communication and collaboration tools. 

At the start of the lockdown period you were forced to quickly set all of these systems up. By now, you’ve likely got a smooth operation going. So why waste all the time and resources put into setting it up by ditching the remote-work culture?

5. Keep up with the trends

Adopting a more flexible working policy and allowing staff to work from home or from a remote location of their choice is becoming more and more common. Some of the big, international tech companies have already started talking about how they are adapting their work cultures to adapt to the post-coronavirus world. 

Facebook said it expects as much as half its staff to transition to working from home within the next five to 10 years. Along with Google, Facebook has also said that most employees will be allowed to work from home for the rest of the year. While Twitter has gone ahead and said that employees will be allowed to work from home permanently. 

You can also learn How to maintain PPE compliance amidst the COVID-19 outbreak

 

So why not follow the trend of these global tech giants and build a remote work policy and ditch the oversized office space?