To more than ever corporate real estate departments have to work harder to keep up with the constant evolution of corporate office space needs. Opening and closing offices in different markets, office expansions, contractions, & relocations, managing the expectations of different employee demographics, etc. As quickly as things change they find themselves spending more time being reactive to corporate real estate needs and less time on long term strategic analysis and planning.
Below are a few best practices that your corporate real estate department should consider.
Learn who your employees are and assess their needs
The first step is to assess the needs of your employees. What do they like? What do they don’t like? What makes them motivated to work hard? You’ll here the terms Gen x, y, z, Millenials, and baby boomers thrown around and how all their needs differ, however at the end of the day they are all people. You need to find out what makes them all happy and productive. Technology today gives companies the ability to be more flexible and create workspaces that allow each person to thrive. The traditional 9-5 employee is gone. People today want work-life balance with flexible schedules.
Don’t just assume any office will do. Do some research and really find out what makes employees happy, productive, inspired, collaborative, etc. Maybe some employees will be more productive working at home half the time? If so then you may not have to lease as much office space. Corporate real estate departments needs to determine how space is being used and design offices that can be adapted for multiple uses and where no space is wasted. The digital age of today makes it much easier.
Assess your existing office spaces
How many offices do you have? When do the leases expire? How is your space being used? Are they being used efficiently or are there a lot of areas that are under utilized? Are you able to make a few rooms multipurpose? Are you able to combine offices?
If you have leases that are expiring within 18 months then you want to address those first. If you have more time to dive in and evaluate how they are being used then you want to take advantage of that. Find out if any offices or space is being underutilized. If so then you might consider shifting some operations around. If that is not an option then maybe consider negotiating an early termination with the landlord or subleasing the excess space.
Your company may be doing great however there is no reason to waste space. Wasted space equals wasted money that could have been used to pay employee wages, investors, or offer lower product/service prices to customers.