For Singaporean businesses, the cost of office space usually rivals other key business expenses such as salaries. It’s not just one of the biggest tickets but it’s also long-term as most agencies demand for 3-5 year leases.
It’s tough to survive with such financial strain. Especially for start-ups and young companies seeking to establish a footing in the market. Therefore, business owners need to make the most out of whatever office space that they have already rented.
There are several ways through which business owners can maximize the use of their current office spaces.
Below are some tips to get you started.
Give employees sufficient space
Cramming many workers in a small office is not a good way to maximize the productivity of an office. Employees need space in order to work productively. Scientists recommend at least 1,000 sq. feet for every five to six staff, but you can narrow that down depending on your layout and nature of operations.
In your layout, include areas where employees can take breaks and refresh, areas where they can collaborate and areas where they can get their heads down to work uninterrupted.
There’s no magic formula, however. Flexibility and creativity are key to achieving the ultimate productive office.
Place emphasis on flexibility
Productive office spaces are designed with flexibility in mind. This is because people have wide-ranging preferences for their workspaces and your team members shouldn’t be confined to a single workspace through their stay.
Flexible office spaces mean that workers who operate from private offices can find room to work collaboratively with others. Flexible, or collapsible furniture, as well as moveable furniture, also goes a long way in enhancing the flexibility of a workspace.
Use mobile partitions
If you don’t use the open office plan, consider using moveable partitions or barriers for your office configuration instead of fixed or permanent walls. Mobile partitions are excellent since they are flexible and can be adjusted when necessary.
Make the little touches count
You may not be able to do much about the office space available immediately but this doesn’t mean that your hands are tied. Make little touches to improve the office environment count. For instance, you can remove any physical barriers to let natural light in and allow some fresh air into the stuffy office space. Add a touch of nature with a few potted plants in the office space.
Better still, take a break from the usual office surroundings and have your weekly sales meeting at a different, preferably outdoor location. Team members will be more productive after these slight adjustments in the office space.
Lastly, negotiate on more than just cash
In business, everything is negotiable, even the lease terms for an office space for rent. After you’ve made the above adjustments on the premises to maximize the use of your office space, consider negotiating for better perks on your lease agreement.
The trick is, do not throw the discounted rent or cash rebate card too soon. Instead, start by asking for the low hanging perks such as an extra parking spot. Landlords will seldom turn down such a request as it will cement your relationship and build loyalty.