Why You Should Reassess Your Office Needs
Updated: May 8
Has working remotely been a challenge for you? Has working remotely made you reassess whether you need the office that you have occupied? Change is hard. Sometimes circumstances dictate a change which is actually beneficial. While you are reassessing everything about your business, consider your offices. What were necessities a few years ago might not be anymore.
With new technologies and changes in the way services are delivered and goods are sold, the need for a traditional office or location has changed. Your needs depend in large part on how you do what you do today, not how it was done a few years ago. Do not make the mistake of assuming you need to maintain a traditional space in a traditional location, even if that is how you have done it for twenty years. Evaluate how you currently use your space. What do you really need, and what is unnecessary? Though technology allows you to be more mobile, if you haven’t or aren’t likely to take advantage of those technologies at this point, then you probably aren’t going to. But, times have changed. People spend less time in their traditional space. And our recent experiences have perhaps illustrated how unnecessary they have become. Technology made it possible.
Some industries are notorious for being slow to adapt to new technologies. Once investments are made in certain assets located in their traditional space, such as servers, outdated software, telephone systems, networks, furniture, outdated equipment, file cabinets, and paper, paper, paper, it is difficult for businesses to abandon them. (More about office technology later). They keep feeding that real estate monster. Don’t! Sunk costs are sunk costs. The money is gone. Look at things from a fresh perspective. There are companies, firms, and practices in your industry that have thought about things from a fresh perspective and they are thriving (or they will be). Don’t look in your rearview mirror, look ahead.
Answering a few key questions will help your analysis.
Why do you need space? What are you going to do there?
Who is going to be in your space and how often?
Can you do it elsewhere (less expensive space, online, etc.)?
These are all factors you need to consider, but this isn’t an all-inclusive list. Put everything on the table. Start with a clean page. Think about building your business as if it were new. And remember, it is generally easier -- and less expensive -- to expand or find more space than to contract when you have too much. And, if you have too much, talk to your landlord. There may be options or business opportunities that will serve both of your interests.