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Many business owners seem to think that relocation will cure demotivation and reinvigorate their workforce. But, over the last few years I’ve found that to be more of a pipedream.
Several years ago, developers stopped developing properties. Now, as things start to pick up again, it’s still slim pickings for genuinely good property whilst supply catches up with demand. And whatever is available often comes at a premium. Clearly, finding a new workspace is much easier said than done. So, what are your options?
Thankfully, hard times are often the catalyst for heightened creativity. For the first time in 10 years, refurbishment rather than relocation is becoming the choice of many.
Let me be clear. When I say ‘office refurbishment’, I don’t mean a lick of paint and new desk lamps. As I explained last month when I wrote about workplace strategy, it’s more about thinking ahead, revisiting your business plan and implementing a sense of the future that fits your company.
Though you might not be moving in a physical sense, a refurbishment is the opportunity to think about where you want to be in three, five or 10 years, what kind of talent you want to attract and how you can bring out the best in your people. It’s the chance to open yourselves up to destination workspaces. Do away with traditional workspaces and embrace new ways of working that encourage collaboration and community.
Allowing employees to work from a range of locations – breakout spaces, coffee points, lounge-style working zones – gives them the flexibility to select the environment which suits them best and join forces with a wide cross section of colleagues. Purely by virtue of increased interaction, your people are more productive. It also gives you the ability to accommodate transient employees and fit more people into the same space, as you don’t have to provide a desk for everyone.
With an increase in refurbishments comes an increase in shorter, more mobile leases. In 2015, we’re entering a more transient marketplace where short-term commitments are favoured over long-term shackles. Understandably so.
Agile workspaces are ideal for this transience. They’re largely furniture-based interiors, making it easier to move when the time is finally right. What’s more, they sit better on balance sheets and are allowable against capital expenditure (as ever, I’m thinking about the accountant too). The work we have carried out for MoneySupermarket.com is a fine example of this.
So, if you think you’re in need of a complete change of scenery, think again. Refurbishments could be the way to save money without reinventing the wheel and relocating altogether, and you might just find yourself newly enamoured with your old, but transformed, familiar location.