Signs it is time to expand or move locations

6 Signs It’s Time to Expand or Relocate Your Office

Moving your business – or even expanding your premises – is a significant and likely disruptive decision.

How do you know when it’s the right time to pack up or start knocking down walls? It’s a delicate balance – you don’t want to risk your business by taking a big step before you’re ready. But as an entrepreneur intimately involved with the day-to-day running of your business, you’ll be able to spot the signs your current workspace is limiting your business – and that an expansion or relocation is just what your company needs to move forward.

#1 You’ve just run out of room(s)

The problem with outgrowing your office space is that it’s a little like boiling a frog – it happens so gradually it may take you a long time to notice. But here are a couple of wake-up calls to watch out for:

  • Your space isn’t being used for its intended purpose, with desks moving into the meeting room and storage containers stacking up in the open-plan
  • You’re doubling up employees in offices that were meant for just one
  • Your OH&S reps are starting to report more frequent accidents, as employees bump into each other, catch themselves on desks or trip over cables
  • HR are also reporting problems, as overcrowded conditions lead to absenteeism
  • You keep hitting something when you push back your chair!

Studies increasingly show that employee productivity is affected by the environment they work in. So moving to a new place, or only taking on some adjoining rooms, will give you more than just more space for storage.

#2 You’re hiring

If your business is growing successfully or even if you’ve simply identified gaps in the ranks you may need extra hands on deck. But like we said, the working environment impacts on productivity, so if you’re hiring more staff, you need to avoid the temptation to squeeze them into your existing space. What’s more, a bigger and better office will be attractive to top-quality potential hires.

If your business is growing, you’ll need more hands on deck - and somewhere to put them
If your business is growing, you’ll need more hands on deck – and somewhere to put them

#3 You need space for customers, too

What kind of impression do your customers get when they visit your business? Or are you simply too embarrassed to invite them?

Even if your current place isn’t too shabby, a new office will send a strong message to your clients and customers about the success and ambition of your business.

#4 You’re limited by your location

Maybe you’re happy with the size and facilities of your current workplace, but you’re not such a fan of the neighborhood. Here are some reasons you might want to consider shifting operations to a different area or city:

  • You want a location that makes it easier to find and attract the right staff, whether that’s because of nearby talent pools (such as colleges) or simply the local cost of living and quality of life
  • You want to be closer your customers or potential customers
  • You’re missing out on networking opportunities at your current location.
Some locations make it easier to attract the right staff
Some locations make it easier to attract the right staff

#5 Your lease is coming to an end

Many business owners use the opportunity of an end of a lease to consider moving on, whether that’s because the rent goes up or they don’t want to commit to another long contract. Or you may have simply realized you could be getting a better deal elsewhere. While most of this post has been about the challenges of a growing business, it’s also OK to downsize if you’re spending money on space you could do without.

Check if your lease expires in the next 18 months or so – it could be a great opportunity to make some changes.

#6 You want to shake up your brand or company culture

Your customers, competitors, and industry can build up quite a picture of you from the look and location of your business premises. If it’s not the picture you want them to have, it may be time to move on, and maybe take the opportunity to update your fixtures and fittings in line with your brand while you’re at it.

Alternatively, if you’re restructuring your business or trying to move to a different way of working, you may want to build this new company culture into your space through office design. Try to involve your employees as you think about what you need from your space.

Running a business means walking the fine line between prudence and risk-taking. You don’t want to make the big move to a new premises until you’re reasonably sure of ROI. But if you keep an eye out for the signs above, you’ll know when the time is right for your business to spread out or move out.


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