Sitting on idle space.

July 5, 2016    Andrew Peers     ,

You might not know it, but your business may be sat on idle space. Most businesses only use 50% of their office space efficiently – forgetting the importance of checking whether their largest overhead is working as efficiently as the people within it.

Property costs are a business’s second largest overhead after staff. So it’s understandable that following economic instability, many businesses are starting to look for ways to reduce their overheads and unlock as much value from their properties as possible.

So how do you get more of it? The answer lies in understanding how much physical space your business actually needs to operate effectively and efficiently and then, how it needs to be configured to work for you.

Businesses that have shrunk can find themselves with legacy space – space that is no longer needed, working or loved. Those that have grown quickly may be working in crowded conditions with no means to support their growth and for some organisations, forgotten space is just sitting idle when it could be easing issues elsewhere.

It’s the job of an interior designer to help you make sense of your wants and needs and to translate these into a workspace that makes every square foot count. Here are some examples of how under-utilised spaces have been identified and put to work:

Bevan Brittan in Bristol asked for interior design help to better use the space in its unusual C shaped building. The workplace consultancy process confirmed they were occupying 8000 sq ft more than they needed and that it was causing a feeling of disconnect and isolation in the areas that were less densely occupied.

The value in this exercise came from re-planning and redesiging the whole building so that the 8000 sq ft of un-used space was one use-able space. Bevan Brittan went on to sublet this space, providing additional rental revenue and contributing to the costs of subsequent office refurbishment too.

Or take Admin Re in the leafy town of Hitchin. This insurance company needed an on site café for its 800-strong team but had no space, or so it thought. By identifying an under-utilised post room and cleaning store rooms, Admin Re avoided a costly extension and instead transformed 2,680 sq ft of forgotten space into a dual purpose café and meeting area.

These examples show the power of information. It’s vital to have the right information about what your business needs, how much space you need in square feet terms and how it should be organised. The experiences of Admin Re and Bevan Brittan prove that forgotten dormant space has a value attached and, that it could well be the answer to your business’s space challenges. We all know the phrase seat your assets hard. Well that goes for property too.

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