By Rob Rebholz, co-founder and managing director of SpaceWays
With demand for London office space is at its highest level in over a decade, here are some top tips and advice on how to maximise your office space:
- Go electronic: Saving all your files and documents in a centralised database or cloud based IT system can help save valuable space. For most SME’s, there’s no need to keep hard copy documents on site if you can store them online. Using e-brochures, cloud technology and secure servers is a much better option than hoarding unnecessary hard copy paperwork. Using iPads in meetings is also another good way to reduce your printing costs – which can mean extra space is created by not having to store boxes of paper. Of course this is all good for the environment, too!
- Keep tidy: It might sound obvious but the more mess you have in your office, the less space you have. Be clean and tidy, ensure you have recycle bins in place, which will not only be good for the environment, it will also mean things are kept ship-shape. A good way to keep on top of the mess is to introduce a big desk tidy every Friday, where the whole company cleans their desks. As an extra incentive, prizes can be given out for the member of staff who has the tidiest work space.
- Go open plan: Removing any partitions and walls to make your desk open plan will certainly create more space. Not only will it make your office brighter and physically feel bigger, it will also enable you to add more desks and change the office environment. An open plan layout is often viewed by most employers as being conducive to a better working atmosphere. Of course it’s important to seek planning permission before making any structural changes and to speak to your landlords beforehand.
- Invest in storage: More and more businesses are starting to use storage facilities to make sure their office isn’t overcrowded and cluttered. More importantly, unnecessary items can take up desk space, and as your business expands, it should be people rather than paperwork filling your office space. It can be an affordable and effective way to ensure you are making best use of the space you have available, particularly in central London areas where space is at a premium.
- Meet Outside: Whether it’s hot desking or a client catch-up, holding meetings outside the office can be a great way to retire the boardroom from its conventional use and free up a little more space.
- Reorganise: While we’re not suggesting feng shui needs to be top of your agenda, an efficient office plan can really make a difference. Storing those troublesome leads in cable trays may seem like an obvious suggestion, but a well-organized lay out can uncover valuable inches, along with bringing a little peace and order into the workspace.
- Be Innovative: From foldaway desks, to coffee tables that transform into sofas... keeping an eye out for multifunctional office innovations can help you make the most of your space and help you stay on trend, too!
- Store Vertical: Although it may seem like a simple suggestion using shelves, hooks and cupboards is a great way of maximising space- along with helping the office stay tidy by making sure everything has a place to call home.