How to manage an office downsize

Modern office reception area

With the growth of home-working, hot-desking and virtual offices, more and more companies are choosing to consolidate their office space, both as a cost-saving exercise and as part of a shift in corporate culture as technology increasingly allows employees to carry out their work using remote digital environments, without the need to be physically present at their office.

Downsizing can improve a company’s efficiency and, ultimately, its bottom line, but will inevitably present its own set of challenges.

Keep your employees informed
If your company persues an office downsize, it’s important that the situation is managed carefully. Even if the physical downsize isn’t the result of economic challenges, staff may feel nervous, leading to rumours and assumptions that moving to a smaller office means the company is in trouble and therefore their jobs may be in jeopardy. Such anxiety can lead to increased stress levels and reduced productivity, and even potentially employees looking for jobs elsewhere.

In this situation, communication is key. Don’t keep your employees in the dark; create a communication plan, detailing your key messages and the positive reasons behind the change.  Explain to your staff as early as possible why the downsize is happening, focusing on the positives that affect them, such as increased flexibility, efficiency and remote working. Encourage opportunities for two way discussion so they feel their questions are being heard.

Whether your downsize involves consolidating your existing office space or moving into a new building, consider how this will affect your employees and give them plenty of notice, particularly if a new building means additional commuting time for some.

Make the most of your new space
When preparing for an office downsize, it’s important to carry out a detailed space plan to help you save money in unnecessary rental of redundant office space while identifying any under-utilised areas and maximising the space you intend to use.

Pickfords Business Solutions offers a detailed space planning and interior design service to help you best utilise your office space for the needs of your business.

Carefully plan your IT
Getting your new infrastructure right is vital to ensure minimal disruption to business operations during an office downsize, particularly if upgrading or installing a new virtual office environment.

To help you manage a potentially complex IT relocation, Pickfords Business Solutions works with your IT supplier or internal department to ensure a seamless infrastructure move, including disconnection and reconnection services, server and data relocation, network patching and auditing services, portable appliance testing and cable management.

Consider storage as an option
While planning an office downsize, you may find it necessary to store certain furniture, equipment or filing, either as a temporary solution between office moves or a longer-term option to save on the costs of property rental.

Pickfords Business Solutions has a national network of storage centres for any length or size of business storage.

Meet your CSR objectives
Consolidating your office space normally results in an excess of furniture and IT equipment. Use this opportunity to meet your CSR targets by opting for environmental disposal of your unwanted goods, which can help raise thousands of pounds for local charities and causes while proving a cost effective alternative to landfill.

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