Space to Spare: 4 Strategies for Utilizing Vacant Office Space During Layoffs
Updated March 28, 2023.
We all know layoffs can be difficult, and not just for the employees affected—your business' resources can also take a hit. The unfortunate reality of layoffs is that they leave companies with extra office space that often goes underutilized.
While reducing your workforce can be painful and stressful, it also offers you an opportunity to rethink the use of your office space and create new opportunities for collaboration and efficiency. To make sure your company seizes the opportunity to create something innovative when dealing with layoffs, it's critical to come up with strategies to maximize the use of your vacant office space.
1. Downsize Your Office Space
If you don't intend on bringing in new hires to occupy your vacant office space, one of the smartest solutions to consider during layoffs is downsizing.
Office downsizing involves reducing your leased office space by a certain percentage, depending on the size of the workforce reduction.
This could entail closing off certain sections of your floor, eliminating cubicle walls, or breaking apart certain departments. It can be a great way to save money on rent by reducing expenses associated with leasing too much office space, so we recommend looking into your lease terms to see if this is a viable option for you.
What's more, companies downsizing office space can benefit from creating more flexible workspaces, which can foster employee creativity and collaboration to boost your bottom line.
■ Reduce your office space by making a good floor plan
2. Repurpose Vacant Offices
Repurposing vacant offices can involve turning your empty workspace into useful employee areas, such as:
- Break room: A place for employees to relax, make coffee, and connect with each other.
- Gym area: A designated space for employees to exercise and stay active.
- Meeting space: A new area to hold meetings or brainstorming sessions.
- Learning area: A library or reading corner for employees to learn and grow.
- Co-working space: A space where employees can share ideas and resources and collaborate.
- Remote workspace: An area remote workers can use when in the office.
- Storage room: A place to store supplies and materials to decrease clutter.
By repurposing vacant offices, you can boost employee satisfaction and, in turn, improve productivity. This means the space will ultimately be put to good use to create a better work environment for your staff.
■ A well-executed office space can increase employee productivity
3. Rearrange the Office
With more room available, you can spread out your employees and create a more comfortable work environment, reducing the need for hot-desking or other space-saving practices.
Typically, the best way to rearrange your office space for maximum efficiency is to think about how your employees will use the space.
Consider creating areas dedicated to your employees' specific activities, or moving around your office furniture and equipment to create a flow that makes the most sense.
Redistributing your office furniture can also boost employee morale and lead to increased productivity and collaboration by eliminating potentially cramped spaces.
■ Rearrange your office space for an optimal working environment
4. Rent Out Empty Offices to Other Businesses
Although it's a relatively rare practice, renting out your empty offices to other businesses can be an excellent way to make use of vacant office space. This way, your company can generate additional revenue instead of wasting resources on unused office space.
It can also help you offset your office maintenance and occupancy costs. Additionally, renting out office space can bring in foot traffic and potential new clients for your business as well as foster a collaborative environment with other businesses, helping stimulate innovation and growth.
NOTE: Before renting out the space, it's important to ensure you're legally allowed to do so, as there may be certain state regulations or laws that prevent you from using this strategy. So, check the legal requirements first to make sure you're compliant with the laws of your state.
Make the Most of Your Vacant Office Space During Layoffs
Making use of any vacant office space is highly beneficial for your company to remain competitive and productive during challenging times. By properly planning and strategizing, you can create new workspaces that promote collaboration, boost morale, and increase efficiency while possibly making a profit by renting out your extra office space.
However, doing all of this is easier said than done—but with the right solution, it can be effortless.
POC System: Office Space Management
- Custom seating plans for maximum employee productivity
- Real-time tracking of current seating and office layout
- Advanced insights into analytics to tailor your space according to your needs
With POC's Space Management Solution, you can easily reinvent and manage your vacant office space in a dynamic and interactive way. This can allow you to reap benefits such as improved space utilization and high-quality data that you can optimize and integrate to boost your bottom line.