Filing cabinets are overflowing, quarters are cramped, the decibels are rising, and finding a meeting room to fit your team is a pipe dream. Sound familiar? If visions of your overcrowded workspace are dancing in your head, it might be time to start thinking about upgrading your office.
As hard as it can be to say goodbye to your beloved office, especially if it’s where your business got its start, working out of a space that doesn’t adequately serve the needs of your company and your team can seriously impact productivity and employee morale.
It’s rarely a “good” time to move offices, but sometimes, you have to bite the bullet and brave the inevitable upheaval in the name of progress. Not sure if your company is ready to move to a new space? Whether you’re a growing start-up, want to explore new markets, or are keen to ramp up your sales, here are 10 signs that it’s time to take the plunge:
1. Your lease is about to expire.
An upcoming lease expiry is the perfect opportunity to consider whether your current space is meeting your present or future needs.
Unlike moving to a new apartment, if the lease on your commercial space expires in two months, it’s probably too late to begin the moving process. While it ultimately depends on your business, most office moves typically take 1-2 years to plan; ideally, you should give yourself 18-24 months before your lease expires to find a new space, make a moving plan, and coordinate the logistics of your relocation. 10-year commercial leases are very common, so if you still have a couple of years left on your lease and can’t wait it out till your lease expires, you may be able to negotiate your way out of the remainder of your term.
2. Your current space can’t keep up with your needs.
Your business has most likely grown over the years, and there’s a good chance that your space requirements have changed as a result. Congratulations! Growth is good, and that means it’s time to move up. If there’s a daily battle for workspaces or group meeting rooms, you only have one conference room with a functioning IT set up, or your biggest conference room only seats half your staff, it’s time to think about moving.
3. Productivity is down.
Cramped, cluttered offices are not conducive to productivity. Noise levels and disorganization can be very distracting, and can lead to increased tension that can significantly impact your team’s output, the quality of their work, and even their interactions with coworkers.
4. Your team seems uninspired.
Company culture and morale can take a serious hit if you’re working out of a space that’s too small or can’t adequately serve the needs of your clients and employees. A change of scenery may be all it takes to re-invigorate your team, but if space is at a premium, moving to an office with more room to collaborate, host clients, and even celebrate holidays, birthdays, or company accomplishments can go a long way to re-energizing your employees. Or, take a page out of Google’s digital book and use the extra space for nap pods and recreational areas.
5. Clutter explosion.
Clutter is the inevitable result of running out of storage space or room to keep your files and supplies organized. Disarray is distracting for your employees, and it can also negatively impact their productivity if it’s difficult to locate files or supplies when needed.
Beyond the effects on your employees and their productivity, clutter reflects poorly on your business if you bring potential and existing clients to your space for pitches or status updates.
6. Your break room has vanished.
Breaks and opportunities to socialize with coworkers are important for maintaining morale and productivity. If you’ve lost your designated break room or your space can’t sufficiently supply the caffeine habits of your employees, they’re more likely to step out to find what they’re looking for, which can lead to even more lost time and productivity.
7. Communication between departments is difficult.
If your floor plan looks more like a maze than a well-organized office space or if you’ve expanded onto multiple floors, communication between departments—and your business’s performance—could suffer. Easy lines of communication between different teams should always be a priority for your business.
8. No parking.
Expensive or insufficient parking can be troublesome for both your employees and your clients. If you’re overhearing complaints about the walk from the car to the office, or even about difficulties finding a space to begin with, it might be time to consider upgrading to a new location with more ample parking.
9. You’re noticing high employee turnover.
Cluttered, uncomfortable, and disorganized offices can be a turn-off for current and prospective employees. Long commutes can also be stressful, making your employees and potential clients more likely to leave or take their business elsewhere.
Exit interviews, surveys, or facilitated conversations with your employees can help you figure out if your office size or location is contributing to any potential dissatisfaction.
10. It’s looking a little worse for the wear.
Appearance matters. Dingy offices in need of repairs or a remodel can seriously damage morale, and can even send employees and clients (both existing and prospective) packing—or worse, to your competitors.
A space that doesn’t meet your company’s needs can ultimately cost your business more in lost time and productivity than the costs associated with moving. Relocating your office can be time-consuming and stressful for you and your employees, but with the help of an experienced office moving team, you can upgrade offices with minimal disruption and get back to business.