Ever wonder whether you’re using your office space as efficiently as you could? You may not be, because it turns out that many companies aren’t. According to one estimate from IWMSNews.com, around 45 percent of a building’s space is underutilized at any point in time.
The solutions for addressing this problem could range from consolidating space to perhaps even downsizing to a smaller building. But what if you have just a few vacant offices? There are a couple of different uses for office space you can choose from. Consider these four tips.
If your lease allows subleasing, you can ensure that extra office space is used and make money at the same time by renting it out to someone else. Using websites like ShareDesk and PivotDesk, which connect interested parties with businesses offering office space, you can list your available spaces for entrepreneurs, freelancers and other workers searching for places to work.
Besides being an additional source of income, renting out an office can have the same benefits of coworking: It brings different industries under the same roof, which can be useful for networking—you never know when your company might need the service your tenant provides, or vice versa.
What if you can’t sublease? There are still some options to explore. You could repurpose the space into something entirely different. Talk to some of the people working on the floor where the empty office is. Ask them what they’d like to see the space converted into. Could they use an additional conference room? A collaboration room, or maybe a designated quiet room?
Getting a sense of how people would like to use the space will decrease the risk that you repurpose it, only to have no one use it. You don’t want to revamp a room only to run into the exact same problem you were experiencing before.
If staff from other branch locations visit throughout the year, the empty office space could be reserved specifically for them so that they’re guaranteed a place to work while visiting. If your business only consists of one location, however, or you don’t often host visiting staff, you could still use the space for hot desking or other flexible working options. Designate the space for staff who are often on the go—someone in sales, for example, may be able to benefit from having a quick touchdown space where they can work for a few hours when they’re on site.
Of course, just because it’s empty office space, that doesn’t mean it has to be used for work purposes only. You could repurpose the room entirely to be something more recreational. What about a game room, with a pool table, ping pong table or an arcade game or two? Or an additional lounge area, with comfortable furniture and a French press? If the room is larger, you can go even bigger with grander options—think a yoga studio, meditation area or a fitness room, suggests Bloomberg Businessweek’s Damian Joseph.
These are just a few ideas for efficiently using empty office space; they can be useful when you have one or two rooms that you want to put to productive use. But if you have a feeling that the space-use problem runs deeper than a few empty offices, you may want to consider a space management software that can generate detailed reports on exactly how much real estate is (or isn’t) being used. For that, OfficeSpace can help.
Photos: Aratrika Rath, Stocksnap, Hal Gatewood