While rows of cubicles and corner offices are still the first associations we get when we think about office space, the knowledge of what boosts our productivity in the workplace has changed to better fit the needs of both the employees and the company, as well as the satisfaction of their visiting clients. Although closed doors and cubicles were created to keep all the distractions away and employees focused, teamwork and active communication were limited to staff meetings, thus lessening the odds of the employees' cooperation.
If you are thinking about ways to manage your office space in order to increase productivity and cut costs, here are some ideas you should consider
Use workspace zones
Using the open office concept is a great way to encourage collaboration between co-workers from different departments while offering them the possibility to choose their own working environment depending on the kind of work they are committed to at the moment. This kind of office space can have quite a few zones based on what the company and the employees need, with the most common ones being:
Such a space organization empowers activity-based working and brings your company true benefits. In addition to fitting the environment to the needs of your employees and increasing efficiency, activity-based working zones make better use of the space, decreasing the number of empty dedicated desks and meeting rooms. This setup also offers your employees a chance to easily regroup when they need to work together in an adequate environment, thus improving collaboration between teams and employees. Nevertheless, if not handled well and if you have nothing but reducing the costs on your mind, implementing an open office plan can prove to be counterproductive.
Co-sharing your office space with another company is an option worth taking into account too, as it may significantly reduce your expenses while maintaining or even boosting the productivity levels of your employees. This concept is nowadays very popular in the UK, especially with start-ups and small businesses. Some surveys even claim that this co-sharing office space increases creativity by about 70% as people coming from different contexts have the opportunity to meet and share their ideas and solutions.
Improve the front office
The front office is your business card, a way for you to make a great first (and lasting) impression on your prospects and collaborators, and send them a message about your company's credibility. The importance of it running smoothly and providing your visitors with the best service they need is tremendous because it might often be the reason behind their decision to come back. In addition to a well-trained front office manager who has great organizational and hospitality skills, think about all the other ways you are going to communicate your brands' message to your visitors.
If you are managing an IT company which deals with security, for example, and want to convey the message of professionalism, think about the best ways to instill the feeling of competency and trustworthiness into your visitors. On the other hand, if you are in the gaming industry, you might want to give your visitors an entertaining and energetic environment, so think about how to achieve that.
Your front office space, whether in your home or in a company building, needs to be as comfortable and functional as possible, which can be done by downsizing the amount of furniture and de-cluttering. This will also give it a cleaner and more spacious look. Also, consider the lights and the colors of your front office area, as well as its design and decor in order to trigger the desired associations and feelings in your visitors.
You can use the benefits of the latest technology and software development to better manage your office space. Not everyone needs or can afford a front office, so many companies start leveraging innovative visitor management tools and taking advantage of virtual assistants. These practical tools can easily notify your staff when your visitors are on site and make their checking-in process and other administrative tasks such as NDA much easier, all of which gives the visitors a more professional and trustworthy feel.
Such software often offers many other options, like marking late arrivals or reporting attendance, as well as warning your visitors about different emergencies. The use of a hot-desking application can also be very helpful in managing your office space. With the rise of flexible working schedules, telecommuting, and hiring virtual assistants, not everyone is expected to be at the office at the same time. By giving your employees an opportunity to reserve their working spot, you can have a direct insight into how occupied each office zone or meeting area is and plan accordingly. Sometimes, this can lead to significant cost reductions.
Whether to reduce your expenses or to give your employees another productivity boost, giving your office space a good thought every once in a while can make all the difference in terms of your company's success.
Guest Author Bio
Keith Coppersmith is a business and marketing expert who has experienced both the rise and fall of many businesses. He enjoys writing and providing insight of the marketing industry based on both practice and theory.