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A stack of moving boxes in an office.

Tips for Downsizing to a Smaller Office

One of the biggest trends affecting office design right now is companies adapting their offices to better accommodate hybrid work. Now that we’re a few years out from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, companies now have a much better understanding of what the future of work is going to look like for them and they’re ready to make some changes to help with that. For some companies, this means redesigning their current spaces and adding in new features to help better meet the needs of hybrid workers. But for many companies who have switched to hybrid work, the office they had before COVID hit is now simply too big and it’s time to downsize to a smaller space.

Whether you’re planning to downsize by moving into a new building or by staying in place but reducing the amount of space you use, downsizing takes a lot of careful planning. You don’t want to end up in a space that’s too small and won’t adequately meet your team’s current or long-term needs. Is it time for you to think about downsizing? Here are some things to consider to make sure the transition is successful.

Long L-shaped sofa, two ottomans, and a table in front of a wall-mounted monitor.

Evaluate Your Current Needs

Since hybrid work significantly changes the ways people engage with the workplace, it’s important to begin with a good understanding of what your team’s current needs are. On average, how many people come into the office each day? When people do come in, what are their reasons for doing so? For example, since many people like to come into the office for meetings or to collaborate with others, many companies are interested in adding extra conference rooms and other collaborative areas. Does anybody need a private office? Are there any other features that you need to add? Let’s say you’d like to switch to unassigned work stations that people can reserve as needed. In that case, you may want to consider adding lockers where people can store their belongings. Also, don’t forget to ask employees for input about what they want and need from the office. 

Row of workstations with partitions in an office.

Deciding What to Keep

Once you have a good understanding of what you’ll need in your new space, it’s time to start thinking about what things around the office can be kept for the new office and what would be best to get rid of. Is anything so out of date or worn that it would be best to replace it rather than bring it to the new space? Is anything underutilized and isn’t worth taking with you? If you have any extra furniture that you won’t have room for, but is still in usable condition, it could be sold or given away. Are there any paper files or records that could be digitized and disposed of, or do you need to plan for file storage in your new space? 

Sofas in an office arranged in a semi-circle with round tables nearby.Create Versatile Spaces

As you plan for your new office, it’s a good idea to try to keep things somewhat flexible so that you can better meet a range of needs without being too restricted by the space. Hybrid work often benefits from spaces that can easily be reconfigured and smaller offices can really benefit from spaces that can suit multiple needs. Think open floor plans and meeting areas with things like lightweight chairs and extendable tables that can easily accommodate groups of all sizes. If you want to add some privacy or space definition to the office without losing the ability to change things around as needed, portable privacy screens are a great solution. 

Ready to create a new office for your company? Premier Construction & Design has experience designing and building spaces for companies in a wide range of industries in the Detroit area. Check out our portfolio and case studies to see examples of projects we’ve worked on. Contact us today to find out how we can help you make the most of your new office.

Featured Image: iStock / onurdongel

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