How to make your office smaller without sacrificing productivity

Reduce Space

How to make your office smaller without sacrificing productivity

One of the easiest ways to save money and control yearly budgets, is to reduce the size of your office. If your workspace has unused areas, then you’re wasting money which can be used elsewhere. Naturally, you may be concerned that a smaller office will negatively impact productivity. However, smaller workspaces can be beneficial to work performance, as well as, office costs. Here’s how to make your office smaller without reducing productivity.

Office space and Productivity

In a 1999 study by the American Society of Interior Designers, they determined physical workplace design was one of the most important factors which affects productivity and job satisfaction.

Over the years, there’s been lots of hype about open offices. There was a popular trend in offices trading cubicles for open areas. (Read our free Modern Offices eBook to find out how offices have changed in 50 years.)

Open offices are preferred because businesses believe they offer lots of open space and encourages employees to move around and interact with colleagues. Whilst there are some positives, there are negatives to open workspaces.


The Cons of Open Offices

Open offices can be very distracting and stressful for employees. If staff have nowhere quiet to work, a busy open office can negatively impact work productivity and office morale. Businesses with low office morale often experience high staff turnover.

Along with negatively impacting productivity, open offices can be very expensive to run.

  • More space can mean higher rent
  • Higher heating bills
  • Higher electricity bills
  • Cost of more furniture to fill the space
  • The cost of wasted space

It’s a common misconception that you have to have a large open workspace to have a high productivity workforce. You can reduce the size of your office without it negatively impacting employees’ work.


How to decrease office size and increase productivity

Decreasing your office space can help you save money in office running costs and free additional space for other purposes. Whilst there are benefits to decreasing the space of working areas, you need to remember how much space your staff are entitled to:

Find out how much office space your staff need

Here is how you can make your office smaller without sacrificing work performance:


1) Reorganise workspaces

Look at your current office. There are different actions you can do to decrease your office size:

  • Are your desks spread out around the office? Move tables together and encourage teams to work together. Did you know office morale can improve by encouraging team work?
  • Are there spare desks? Remove any unused desks, they will just collect clutter and waste space.
  • Introduce hotdesking. Hot desking means employees share workspaces. If your staff don’t always need access to a computer, they can share or have laptops to give them freedom to work in different areas of the office. This freedom can benefit productivity because employees have control over their working conditions.

Check out the office design trends of 2016!


2) Install shelving

Rather than having lots of cabinets and cupboards, you can take advantage of unused wall space by installing shelving. Shelves give you access to more floor space as you can move office supplies and documents out of the way, and give extra free space for your staff to work.


3) Remove clutter

Extra furniture and office supplies are a common culprit for wasting space. In a smaller office, you need to use space more wisely. Remove anything that’s no longer needed. Furniture can be put into storage or even sold (which adds some money back into the budget!). If space is used more smartly, you can save money without damaging work performance.


4) Have a look at your lighting

Whilst office space is important, there are other key elements you need to consider when looking for ways to improve productivity. Lighting is very important for your staff. Working in the dark can cause eye strain and be harmful to your sight. However too much light, can negatively impact employees too. You need to find the right balance.

The best solution is to get as much natural lighting into the office as possible. Wide open windows that let in plenty of daylight is beneficial for productivity. Glaring artificial lights can be harmful to your staff’s work performance. You can install main office lights and offer smaller office lamps for staff so they can have control over the light in their work area.

Having less lights will also mean less costs on lighting.


5) Use light paints

Dark coloured walls will make rooms look darker and smaller. Painting your offices with light paint can make rooms feel larger. White and yellow walls easily reflect the sun so they help office rooms look lighter and create the impression there is more space.

Along with light colours, the colour blue is known for benefiting productivity.  Use wall colours and designs carefully to enhance office space and benefit work performance.


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Redesign your office to improve productivity

Redesigning your office  is the best way to reduce space, save yearly costs and get the most out of your workspace.  At Elm Workspace, we offer a free design consultation service and proposal. You can discover the hidden potential in your office before having to pay anything.

Have a look through our portfolio to see who we’ve worked with before. Some of our previous clients include: Just Eat and Clarks.


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