Has Remote Working Eradicated Your Need For Office Space?
With UK companies adopting a more flexible way of working, what will happen to all of those swanky corporate offices?
45% of the UK workforce believes that flexible working will become a permanent feature of our work-life balance, with 33% anticipating that they’ll work from home at least 3 days a week. These statistics were revealed by 02 business in collaboration with YouGov and ICM and highlight the potential changes that companies might make in the coming months.
The pandemic has forced company bosses to have a rethink about the possible gains of leading a remote team. They’ve adopted collaborative technology with ease and are now confident that flexible working doesn’t translate to a lack in productivity. In fact, companies like Twitter have decided to ditch the office altogether and have switched to a remote working model instead. Similarly, Bishopsgate Financial, who had a team of 18 staff members, have also given notice on their property lease in favour of flexible working from home. As swanky corporate office leases can often be one of the largest monthly outgoings for companies, it might pay for your company to look at downsizing your office space.
If you’re hoping to downsize into smaller premises as some of your team members will be working remotely, then consider the need to stick to social distancing regulations. Smaller premises might mean a lack of spacing between desks, which may not fit with health and safety guidelines during the pandemic. You’ll need to work out exactly how many team members you can safely accommodate on site at one time and plan out from there.
If you’d like your teams to visit your smaller offices on a rotational basis, hotdesking is a great solution so long as you can encourage positive workplace hygiene to ensure that all workspaces are wiped down between use. Your employees can store their personal belongings in storage lockers to eliminate the need to share resources and thus reduce person to person contact.
Remember that some workplaces thrive on the creativity that emerges when team members are located in the same room. That doesn’t mean that downsizing can’t work for you – perhaps schedule weekly, fortnightly or monthly brainstorming sessions to take place in the office, or even in a shared coworking space which will cost you a fraction of your standard monthly lease.
Prioritise Your Tech
Depending on how long you’ve been in your current workspace, your tech infrastructure will likely have been designed to accommodate this particular office setup. Downsizing to different premises or giving up your lease entirely will require some considerable thought with regards to your tech, particularly if you have a dedicated server room. The good news is that many companies have successfully adopted cloud technology which is a fantastic solution for remote teams and could help you to make further cost-savings. Prioritise speaking to your tech department about the possibilities of cloud migration and allow them to carry out their maintenance tasks remotely whilst potentially switching to a cloud platform.
If you’re interested in downsizing your office space, check first to see if there are any breaks outlined in your current lease. You should also speak to your landlord to see if they will renegotiate your terms or offer you smaller space which is more suitable for your adaptations.