There comes a time in the life of almost every business where the office is getting more packed with people, desks, chairs, and cabinets to the point of bursting. At a certain point, it can become a health and safety concern for employees where they don’t have the space to move around freely without knocking into an open cabinet door or having to uncomfortably squeeze past another employee to get by.
The business might not be in a financial position to relocate to a larger office just yet, so what can the managers do to make more current office space less congested?
Desk Sharing Policy
It’s a nice situation when everyone has their own desk and can organize it the way they want with knickknacks and other trinkets to make it feel homelier. However, providing a separate desk for every employee including people who work only a morning or an afternoon on a part-time basis uses up more floor space than necessary. Having a desk sharing policy for these employees allows the company to remove a desk and possibly a separate desk drawer from the office area making it a little bit more spacious than it was before.
Clear Unnecessary Items for Storage
Take a hard look at what is out in the office space and whether there is anything that’s no longer needed. When it comes to filing paperwork, usually the documents can be digitized to remove the floor space used to house the filing cabinets. Look for whatever ways there are to use the existing space more economically.
Once you’ve figured out what items can be set aside as they’re not needed day to day, they can be loaded onto Gruber pallets for storage in a separate small room, in the warehouse below the office, or in an unused part of the building.
Companies that are open to the idea of having shift workers will find that they can make excellent use of their office space by splitting up employee working hours. Some people may prefer to work early morning to mid-afternoon whereas night people could prefer mid-afternoon to midnight working hours. Each paired AM/PM shift worker could use the same assigned desk, so two employees make use of the same office furniture and equipment every work day. While this might seem impractical at first, plenty of companies already do it, like insurance companies that take claim reports 24-hours a day.
Work at Home Days
Some employees are crying out for the opportunity work from their home office and skip the commute altogether. Most companies are reticent to accept the idea because they still believe that they must watch over their employees like a hawk to get the best performance out of them. Both the research on the actual productive hours vs work hours (3-4 hours of productive work for an 8-hour shift) and the performance of home workers vs office workers tells a different story entirely.
Rapidly expanding businesses often face the problem of how to deal with the pace of growth and still keep on top of everything. Office space is a chief concern of managers who go from believing the new larger office will suit the company for five years to quickly seeing it fill up fast. Getting around the space issue in the short-term is a temporary fix, but a useful one when relocating quickly isn’t an option.