Month: September 2014
Ok. So in one of my previous blogs, I pointed out seven post office relocation “growing pains” to avoid, namely
(1) Insufficient office space to facilitate growth
(2) Insufficient electrical outlets and/or voltage for office equipment
(3) Noisy or disruptive heating/cooling system
(4) Telecommunications limited or not activated at new site
(5) Insufficient internet services available for your business needs
(6) Lack of transportation options for staff to get to the new location
(7) Lack of parking available
One strategy to avoiding the above is by asking and answering the right questions.
- How much staff and equipment do you currently have?
- How many additional staff do you foresee hiring within the next five years? What about equipment?
- Do any of your staff need closed-in offices? How many will be in cubicles?
- What about meeting rooms, lunch areas, storage areas?—how many would your organization need?
Your answers to the above questions multiplied by the knowledge that the standard space allotted to each room or staff member ranges from approximately 36 sq.ft (for a small cubicle) to 300 sq ft (for a large office) can help determine the ideal size of your office space should be in order to meet your current and future business needs.
Some office environment questions you may want ask include,
- Is that heating/cooling system noisy or quiet?
- What about windows – are there a lot or very little?
Why these questions? Background noises such as the low hum of a heating or cooling system could prove to be quite distracting especially if your organization regularly conducts meetings via conference calls, webcast or Skype. As for the windows, studies have shown that employees tend to work more productively if they are able to see the outside from their work areas.
Here are some more questions you may want to consider regarding the geographic location:
- Outside of walking or driving a personal vehicle, is the potential new location easily accessible by public transit?
- Are there a variety of eateries, post offices, and other services nearby that would be complimentary to the function of your business ?
Finally, to avoid technological “growing pains”, one should seek answers to the following questions:
- How many outlets are available for your equipment?
- What about your telecommunication needs such as telephone, internet availability? Can the telecommunication services in the new area accommodate your company’s current and future telecommunication needs?
It can be easily overlooked, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for businesses to actually know what their organization needs in relation to their office space to function effectively. Asking the right questions, and aiming to get the right answers is a step closer to helping your business hit the ground running once your office move is complete.
There is probably nothing more frustrating than moving into an office space that is insufficient in meeting your current and/or your future business needs. Avoiding this dilemma requires some proactive planning.
First, you need to know what you are starting with and what you want to end up with by the end of the lease term. You can do this by
- Acknowledging what you have and/or need in the short term (staff wise and equipment-wise)
- Having a five-year business plan that details anticipated changes in staff and equipment
Second, take measurements of all the office furniture and office equipment you plan to move into your new office space in the short term. With this information, you will be able to accurately plan the layout of your new office space based on actual rather than assumed information related to your office furniture and equipment.
Third, consider your staff (current and future) and the type of work spaces they will need to function most effectively. How many will need to be in collaborative workstations? How many will need closed-in offices? What about meeting rooms, lunch areas, storage areas?—how many would your organization need? Your answers to these questions multiplied by the knowledge that the standard space allotted to each room or staff member ranges from approximately 36 sq.ft (for a small cubicle) to 300 sq ft (for a large office) can help determine the total ideal size your new office space should be in order to meet your current and future business needs.
Fourth, when checking out a potential office space, walk with a measuring device and use it to document the square footage (or square metres) of the office space. If the office space is somewhat irregular in shape, then take note of wall lengths and heights and the angles these walls create when they meet.
Finally, before signing any lease agreements, take all the information from the previous steps and create basic office space design layout. This can be done either by using design software or on paper with 2-dimensional cut-outs representing the office furniture and equipment, or you can have a professional office space planner provide one for you if you do not have the time or resources to do this yourself. Having a visual of each potential office space can help you determine which space would be optimal for your business. Just make sure your office space layout is to scale so that your decision is an accurate one.
There are other factors to consider when choosing the right office space such as electrical and internet capacity, but following the above can at least help ensure that your next office space is the right size to facilitate your current and future business operations.
An office relocation can be quite exciting, especially for a company going through an expansion or just taking the next step to being a bigger player in its marketplace. But with growth comes various types of “growing pains” – some involving the productivity of employees, others relating to the existing physical and technical aspects of the actual office space. While there are many organizational management strategies in place to help the employees through an office expansion, very few businesses have a proactive strategy in place to deal with office space related issues…so I’d like to suggest a few.
First, if your organization is even thinking about going through office relocation, please take into consideration the following:
- Your company’s current and future business goals
- The physical and technological aspects a potential office space needs to have in order to best meet your current and future business goals
I can’t even count the number of companies that did not take the time to do the above but instead rushed into a relocation only to encounter one or more of the following problems:
- Insufficient office space to facilitate growth
- Insufficient electrical outlets and/or voltage for office equipment
- Noisy or disruptive heating/cooling system
- Telecommunications limited or not activated at new site
- Insufficient internet services available for business needs
- Lack of transportation options for staff to get to the new location
- Lack of parking available
All of the above could be avoided by simply taking a proactive approach to your relocation project. That is why over the next few blogs, I will outline more proactive strategies your relocation team can put into effect for each of the above problems even before your organization begins considering a new office space.
Watch for more blogs in the coming weeks!