Stop Questioning your Office Size, do question its Layout
Things you know: Your office is your home base. It’s where the core work is done. Designing new products and initiatives. Bringing on new clients for services. Sales and marketing strategy sessions. Launching new projects and products. Manufacturing, testing, and shipping products.
To achieve these goals, you need to bring in-house expertise together for extended time frames. If we learned anything from our master’s level management course (we learned very little), it is that “the best ideas and solutions come from an engaged team with different backgrounds and skill sets”. Natural team or project leaders will be promoted by the team, and they will rotate new leaders to the top positions depending upon the project. It’s where different skills and strengths align in synergy.
Consider Why and When You Offer Remote Work
Things you may not know: You can’t do this in a remote environment well or consistently. Remote environments work for days when people assemble information, research, and package documents. They work when clear at-home assignments are established. You may believe you are getting great results from your predominantly remote team. But you would do far better bringing everyone to the office to collaborate face to face most days, putting the sum of parts in motion.
So why are we hearing so much about office size reductions? Our observation, having worked daily to solve long-term hiring problems for companies, is that productivity levels in remote environments decline, subtly at first, and then erode over time. The result is a slow reduction in revenues and the look to cut costs. When staring at an occasionally used office, it’s easy to begin cutting costs there.
What we are Hearing
This is not to say we haven’t worked with companies who succeed despite the push for hybrid environments. But they are not the companies looking to reduce office size. They are looking to repurpose their office space or increase it. Their revenues grow. The deliverables and logistics become more complex. They encounter new, bigger competitors. They need more high-quality staff to keep growing.
That staff needs to collaborate. Across teams, across groups, divisions. That staff needs space and a modernized layout that provides quiet private spaces, comfortable meeting rooms, and universal spaces.
A Little Advice
We’d advise that you spend real time thinking about your office space before obtaining it, increasing it or decreasing it. That the most important resource is your people and their synergy. That, people are your experts and that they need to be in office spaces that foster collaborative creativity more often, and be home working at the kitchen table, or the couch with Love Island or the Kardashians on TV less often.