4th September, 2019
With rental overheads taking up a significant portion of most businesses costs, it’s important to know when you’re in a space that’s working for you, and when it’s time to move on.
When you’re busy running a business, you’re focused on day-to-day operations.
It’s therefore easy to miss signs that it’s time to move into a new workspace.
Also, you might have a niggling feeling that a move is required but are trying to ignore this because of worries about costs, timeframes, or other factors.
A growing business needs a chance to thrive, however, so it’s better to address space problems sooner rather than later.
Here are some of the top signs to pay attention to today that show you need to move your venture to bigger and better premises this year.
The primary indication that you need to start looking at other office space is that there isn’t enough room for your staff members to work effectively in the current location.
You mightn’t have a conference table to sit at for team meetings anymore because people are using it as desk area or the whole area has become a storage dump zone.
You might want to bring on another employee but realise you don’t have anywhere to set them up.
READ: The keys to negotiating a retail lease
Or, perhaps you run a business where workers need to assemble products, pack stock, handle lots of paper files, etc., but they can’t actually get things done because there isn’t enough room to complete projects.
If you host meetings with clients at your business premises and they start to comment on the state of your office, this is a clear sign it’s time to move.
It’s unprofessional and embarrassing if customers need to move papers or other items to sit down for a chat.
Plus, you don’t want people getting the wrong impression about your productivity levels or organisational or cleanliness standards.
If your office seems a big mess because it’s too crowded, clients may feel you’re overwhelmed, taking on too many jobs, and therefore unable to cater to their needs adequately.
They might believe you’re disorganised, distracted, and otherwise unsuitable to work with for the long term.
Safety issues are something to notice, too.
As a business owner, you’re responsible for providing a safe workspace.
Yet, if employees constantly have to step over boxes in walkways, or too many items are stored up high and start falling on people, this increases the chances of injuries occurring. In turn, you could be held liable.
READ: Your 8-point due diligence checklist prior to signing a commercial lease
As much as upgrading to a larger space may be costly in terms of finances and time, it’s worth it to avoid these types of safety-based consequences.
Another common sign that your business premise isn’t working is when your employees start to gripe at each other more and more.
This often happens if they don’t have the space – not just physically but also mentally and energy-wise – to work freely.
If they feel like their colleagues are breathing down their neck, and they can’t concentrate, take a breather, or have a conversation in private, stress levels will rise.
People will snap at each other more and feel frustrated all the time.
READ: Is workplace conflict killing your business?
If you notice an increase in personality conflicts in your office, as well as rising absenteeism (employees might start staying home to escape the madness), and a fall in productivity, takes steps ASAP to find a bigger, more suitable space.
Similarly, higher employee turnover rates often come hand in hand with overcrowded offices, as people find the work environment too stressful and look for another job.
This is a significant and expensive issue and one to avoid.
Something many entrepreneurs have had to deal with over the years is a time where their workspace copes, just, with the number of people and items in it, but outside is another matter.
For example, parking is typically at a premium and can max out sooner than other, internal spaces.
This is particularly the case in the middle of cities where fewer parking spaces come with each building or office and street parking restricted due to busy surrounds.
While you might be able to encourage some employees to take public transport, not everyone can or wants to choose this option.
To keep your team happy, eventually you’ll need to move to new premises with additional parking
It’s not the first thing that comes to mind, but a problem that arises for some companies is when the businesses based in their area or other factors change over time, and the area becomes less desirable.
For instance, if there’s a rise in crime in the suburb and your staff and visiting clients don’t feel safe, you won’t be able to stay for long.
Alternatively, if the building was calm and quiet when you first moved in but is now full, busy, noisy, and distracting, it’s time to move to a location that provides a better fit.