Office Relocation Alternatives
Is your office too small to cope with your growing workforce? Is the design now outdated, and no longer reflects your company? You may think that to solve your workspace challenges, you need to move office. However, that’s not necessarily the case. While office relocation has its advantages, it can also be a long, complex, and expensive process. It can take a lot of your time to plan and manage, and supporting your people throughout the change can be difficult.
Every week, we help companies decide whether or not to relocate their offices. Over the last 15 years, we’ve built up a detailed understanding of the factors that impact this decision. We’ve helped hundreds of companies to make the right decision for them. We’ve found that just because your office no longer works the way it used to, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move office.
Today we’ll explain the 3 most popular alternatives to moving office: refurbishment, expansion, and hybrid working. We’ll go through the benefits and negatives of each, and explain why (or why not) it might be suitable for your company. We’ll then explain the key factors that impact whether you should move your office or not, and how to make your decision. Let’s get started!
The most popular alternative to office relocation is office refurbishment. Office refurbishment tends to be cheaper, quicker, and less disruptive than a full office relocation.
Many companies we speak to that are considering an office relocation think they need to move office because they have outgrown their existing space. However, this isn’t always necessary. Most organisations have 30-50% more office space than they need. With careful space planning, an interior designer may be able to reconfigure your office to cater to all your staff and create room for further staff growth.
If your brand and culture have evolved over recent years and your office hasn’t kept up, your office will feel tired and outdated. In this situation, relocation may not be unnecessary. You can completely change the look and feel of your office with an office refurbishment. It can lend a fresh feel to the space while avoiding the extra complexities and costs of relocation.
We worked with Blinkhorns to help them decide their workspace strategy. They were looking to relocate, but they couldn’t find a new space that met their needs. as a result, they renewed their existing lease and appointed Zentura to refurbish their office. The result was a dynamic workspace with a wide variety of spaces. It included spacious desking areas, a range of collaboration spaces, and a large breakout area.
Office expansion is a less common alternative to office relocation. Rather than move your office, you take on extra space within or near to your existing building. If your office is already efficiently designed or severely overcrowded, then reconfiguration may not be enough to allow for future staff growth. However, this doesn’t mean you need to move to a new location. Unless there are significant problems with your existing space, it is worth considering office expansion.
Commonly, this involves taking on another floor of the same building, but taking on space in a nearby building may be a suitable alternative. Some companies even choose to use co-working spaces as a short-term office expansion. However, co-working space can become very expensive. It should only be used as a temporary solution.
Alteryx worked with Zentura across 3 separate projects within their existing building, as they expanded from 6,000 to 24,000sq/ft of office space. As well as using the extra space to house new staff, they created a stunning client suite and collaboration space on the top floor. Each time, the design changed as their company evolved. We refreshed their existing office space to reflect their changing brand.
One of the most popular working models of the last 3 years, the ongoing viability of hybrid working is still uncertain. However, if your company is not ready for the cost and disruption of office relocation, then hybrid working could be an effective short or mid-term solution.
Hybrid working can alleviate overcrowding by having your staff working from home (or a co-working space) 3-5 days per week. This would need a clear plan and careful communication to avoid your office being empty on some days and overcrowded on others.
However, adopting a hybrid working model doesn’t mean you can leave your office as it is. If you are moving to a hybrid working model, your office will be used mainly for meetings and teamwork while staff complete focused tasks while offsite. As a result, the purpose of your office shifts to a collaboration hub, and your office design will need to change to reflect this.
We helped MI-GSO | Pcubed refurbish their 5,500 sq/ft Aldgate office to enable hybrid working and global collaboration. To improve collaboration, all fixed desks were removed. They were replaced with collaboration suites and hot design areas. To facilitate their collaboration with stakeholders all over the globe, we installed a fully immersive extended reality suite! MI-GSO | Pcubed now has a workplace that improves collaboration, staff productivity, and business performance.
Should You Move Office?
Generally speaking, it is better to refresh your office than move to an entirely new location. Refurbishing, expanding, or going hybrid is normally cheaper, quicker, and less disruptive than moving office. As you are using as much of your existing office as possible, the costs are reduced. In addition, keeping the same location will reduce the day-to-day disruption for your people.
However, if there is something wrong with your existing office that can’t be fixed by a refurbishment or expansion, then it’s definitely worth considering a relocation. If your office is in a poor location, then you’ll struggle to attract and retain talent. It’s important to consider if your office is in a suitable location.
When considering cost, it's important that you consider the return on investment over the lifetime of your office. A relocation may cost more initially, but if it makes your people a lot more productive, then it will be a very good investment. You will also need to consider the operating costs. Moving to a new office with modern and efficient systems may cost a lot less to run.
Planning your Office Project
Unfortunately, there is no correct answer to the stay-vs-go debate. What is right for you depends on your unique circumstances and plans for the future. By carefully considering all the different options, including relocation, refurbishment, expansion, and hybrid working, you will be able to make a decision that is best for the future of your business.
Want to learn more about whether or not to move office? Read our article, Office Refurbishment v Office Relocation - Which is Best for Me? We’ll explain the 5 key factors that impact your stay vs go decision, and give you several different examples of projects we’ve worked on to help you make your own decision.
If you’re ready to talk to us about your office relocation or refurbishment, book a call here. As experienced experts in the UK workspace market, we’ll be able to help you make the best decision for your business needs.