August 23, 2014 Meissner

Utilizing Open Office Space When Your Workforce is Traveling

Summertime means folks want to hit the road on vacation, which also means that the office is not necessarily at full capacity in June, July and August. But this doesn’t mean that office spaces should go unused, be unattended or become a money drain.

Rearrange Existing Space

This may seem like a given, but rearranging the office layout can be a very smart thing to stretch or make your company’s dollars go further. However, there is more to this shifting – if done right – than simply moving a desk here, or a phone there. A plan needs to be drawn up using the building blueprints and pulling in Operations before you begin this type of project.

And if you’ve been considering expanding office space, summer can be a good time to make that growth happen as the smaller in-house workforce will mean minimal disruption to the daily business.

Professional space planning companies, such as Unisource Solutions and MyOffice, can aid in delivering furniture concepts and installation services, among other workspace services.  By working in unison with the company’s representative and the building’s property manager, these companies ensure that the workplace needs are properly addressed.

Repurpose Present Space

If your workforce is out of town, traveling, or otherwise on holiday, consider alternatives to fill your office space. The summer can be a great time to hire new staff members, or part time employees. Recent college grads looking for jobs, students searching for internships, and seasoned professionals may be looking for a bit of change as the season shifts. You may want to take advantage of the season to launch a short-term data, administrative or research project and let the part time staff needed to do those projects fill those empty chairs.

Another idea to think about is whether or not it makes sense to temporarily lease this empty space until the end of the summer. Perhaps a local or national charity has an event in your area and needs a central place to gather and plan. Or maybe a neighboring firm is remodeling and needs stopgap officing. The ideas are worth exploring.

Before considering a sub-lease, be sure to review your lease and approach a leasing agent who is knowledgeable in the submarket.  If you’re unsure how to read your lease or which leasing agent to choose, commercial property managers can be of assistance.  Tim Meissner, a Principal at Meissner Jacquet Commercial Real Estate Services, emphasizes the importance of understanding lease language as Meissner Jacquet’s “commercial property managers are constantly referencing tenants’ leases before making any space-based decision.”  Meissner says that “it can detrimental to both the tenant and building owner (landlord) if decisions are not based on the lease,” as there can be costly consequences.

Consult IT Department

Your information technology department knows more about solving physical office space issues than you may think. They understand ways to increase the productivity in specific office areas and can assist in maximizing energy and efficiency levels. For example, there may be a corner of cubicle space where employees are under-utilizing the resources offered to them. Your IT group can determine which applications may not be needed by particular members of this team – and which are – and help make more efficient use of those resources. Leveraging the expertise of your IT group to better analyze overall space effectiveness can be farsighted.

Consider Building a More Mobile Workforce

A flourishing trend being embraced by many companies is allowing certain sectors of the workforce to work virtually on a full or part-time basis. These groups can include road warriors in the Sales department, employees with intense travel schedules, and contract employees.

Bottom Line 

Space that sits empty wastes money. If your workforce is increasingly mobile and able to work virtually, having them work off site makes solid business sense.

The economy is slowly gaining ground, but watching every expense and leveraging every opportunity to make or save money – repurposing or reorganizing your vacant office space to meet its highest potential – just makes good business sense.



Meissner Jacquet Commercial Real Estate Services

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