Covid-19 has forced many people to work from home which means companies are probably wondering if things will ever go back to ‘normal’. If an organisation can manage operations with most staff members working remotely, do they still need such a big office? Could the pandemic lead to office downsizing and an increase in the need for business storage units?
The Future Of Business Operations
For some time, remote work was a big talking point but not everyone took it seriously. Some believe it was a “waste of time” and that people should be at the office to perform their tasks. However, the pandemic has forced everyone to rethink their operations which have led to widespread adoption of this style of work.
Businesses can now consider other possibilities such as hiring staff remotely from regions where they maybe don’t have an office. They can also downsize their large and expensive city-centre locations as some can no longer afford it.
If not everyone is going to be at the office 9-5, do they still need all the desks, chairs and tables? What about those who had a “hot desking” system? It’s also not just about the desks; think about all the other equipment for exhibitions or seminars and company stock.
Downsizing And Business Storage In A Covid-19 Landscape
Business storage is the perfect solution whether you need it for stock, equipment, machines or documents. Many companies already use business storage for excess stock or accounting and financial documentation, especially the confidential kind. With the current state of affairs, more people will likely turn to business storage as they consider downsizing their offices.
Regardless of potentially reconfiguring office space, businesses that previously had no or limited remote working will have extra office space that no longer suits their requirements. For companies looking to downsize, here’s what you can do.
Downsizing And Break Option
Anyone within serviced office accommodation should try to take less space once the current agreement expires. You should also speak with your operator to see whether they have implemented any specific proposals. For those with a lease agreement, consider exercising any break option you may have. If you don’t have a break option, try to re-gear or renegotiate a deal with your landlord by either:
- agreeing to surrender part of your office space or move to a smaller location also owned by your landlord (this is more difficult and can be rather expensive in the current climate)
- agreeing to downsize as part of a renegotiation while locking into a long term and/or a higher headline rent agreement
Recommended: ‘The World Of Work After Coronavirus In The UK’
Lease Or Share Business Premises
You could also look at assigning your lease but it could take time and require paying a sizeable premium to the assignee. Another option is to underlet the entire or a part of your business premises. However, in the current climate, you may not be able to charge the same rent as what you were paying. Other options include:
- Sharing space with a group company
- Sharing space on an informal licence basis with a third party (keep in mind this might breach the terms of your lease and could risk forfeiture or injunctive actions by your landlord)
- Take occupancy with flexible operators who will allow you to change your space requirements on cycles of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months
Recommended: ‘Tenant Options When Downsizing’
Business Storage For Everyone
While business storage used to be particularly popular for sole traders, eCommerce and other home-based companies, the coronavirus has undoubtedly changed this perception. Also, with rising property prices and the uncertainty around Brexit, more companies are turning to business storage units and for good reason.
Renting a business storage unit has overwhelming benefits as it helps you to be exceptionally organised. At the same time, it keeps initial overheads low while costing considerably less than retail or warehouse space. You can store almost anything from extra office furniture and equipment to vehicles, tools and stock. A business storage unit will keep everything safe and in excellent condition for when you need it.
Related: ‘Do’s and Don’ts Of Commercial Storage Units’
Considering the financial implications, combined with more remote work and the continuation of social distancing, many businesses are questioning the type and size of premises they need. As a result, there will likely be a shift in employers looking to downsize their leases or looking for flexible office space rather than long-term leases.
Companies that have implemented remote working have already seen first-hand how effective they can be even with people working from home. It has left many wondering whether they need such a large office space and to rather invest in creating more remote opportunities.
If you want a quality, affordable and reliable business storage facility, Space Centre Self Storage is open for access 24 hours a day. We have storage facilities in Bristol, Stroud, Gloucester and Stonehouse with many on the ground floor offering easy drive-up access.