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Why Downsizing Your Workspace Might Not Save You MoneyOctober 31, 2013
Commercial real estate costs take up a significant chunk of any company’s overall expenditures, so it’s understandable that businesses are re-examining their square footage. But rightsizing doesn’t necessarily mean downsizing; how you’re using your space may be more critical to your productivity and profitability than how much space you’re using.
A “bean counter” who is going strictly by the numbers might argue that fewer square feet means less operational expense. But if you’re not cutting employees as well, that means you’re faced with the prospect of wedging the same amount of workers into less usable workspace — and that’s asking for productivity conflicts. You’re likely to have workers fighting over available facilities and equipment, straining to hear each other over the hubbub of conversations in confined areas, and generally getting less work done. So while you’re spending less on the space, you’re also getting less out of your employees and ultimately bringing in less revenue.
Proper rightsizing calls for an open-minded attitude toward how a given amount of space can be used. For instance, you might phase out individual offices in favor of multi-purpose collaborative areas. This would allow you to make use of a smaller facility while still giving your employees room to work together productively. Could some of those employees be working from home, or from their laptops? That’s another strategy worth looking into and possibly investing in. As long as teams can work together effectively in shared workspaces — real or virtual — you can downsize your building without downsizing your productivity or employee morale.
Best of all, smart workspace planning can save you money in its own right. By getting the optimal amount of productivity from each square foot of your facility, you may find that you don’t have to lose any square footage at all!