As a member of the facilities management team, you need to consider how your office space can accommodate new staff as your company scales. Working for a growing company can be very exciting—revenues are up, you’re exploring additional services or product lines and you’re hiring more employees.
Here are 4 key considerations for facility managers to keep in mind during a period of organizational growth:
Efficient and effective space management during a period of growth starts with assessing space availability. You will want to evaluate if your existing office will be big enough to accommodate anything from a few new hires to a whole new department. Work with senior management and human resources to determine their needs and forecasted growth plan for the next three, six, 12 and 18 months. Then compare the estimated number of new hires to your current space availability.
If you determine that you must expand into a completely new, larger office space, there are several things to consider. Using a move management tool simplifies and streamlines the relocation by allowing you to move employees in real-time using drag-and-drop features.
Maybe you’ve confirmed your layout won’t handle the influx of staff, but feel that your total square footage could. Determine your desk vacancy and test out various scenarios to find the most efficient use of current space. Have you laid out your floor plan and taken inventory of all workstations, furniture and storage spaces? Identify the dead space and reorganize your office to create a new layout that incorporates function and aesthetics.
You may also want to consider flexible furniture or a hot desk workspace to minimize your physical space demands.
Additional staff puts strain on existing resources, so be sure to budget expenses for each new hire. This includes equipment like computers, keyboards and phones, as well as other technology like software application licenses. Communal printer and copier use should also be assessed to make sure there isn’t an internal backlog as employees line up to share these resources.
Another option is to lease equipment instead of buying it. This helps you avoid large upfront costs or maintenance fees. However, you may pay higher costs over time if you intend to keep the equipment for several years, so be sure to weigh out the pros and cons of buying versus leasing.
One strategy to consider when accommodating additional employees is the use of flexible facilities. This may include renting a new office space in a shared office structure, or in a coworking space where you can rent desks or rooms on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Flexible facilities can be a great temporary or medium-term solution for rapidly growing companies—you can move into them relatively quickly and with much less commitment than buying a new property or having a multi-year lease.
Keep factors like location, internet availability, security and privacy in mind when considering these spaces.
Above all, your office space should reflect the particular needs of your growing company. While expanding your space might feel like the best way to adapt to growth, there are many ways to strategically use and maximize your available resources. Be sure to consider all of your options before moving to a larger office.
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