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September 17, 2021

How to Maximize Space When Downsizing Offices

As Atlanta companies evolve from the COVID-19 pandemic and expand their remote-working policies, many are choosing to downsize or decommission their physical locations.

Metro Atlanta had 36.5 million square feet of vacant office space at the end of Q2 2021, according to Colliers, with organizations like Hartman Simons & Wood and Thyssenkrupp choosing to downsize their downtown presence.

If your company is also deciding to trade your current Atlanta office for a smaller space, you’re probably already experiencing the unique challenges of a downsizing move. What should you do with all your stuff? How can you maximize space in a smaller office?

A relocation partner can help you make the most of your new space and ensure a smooth transition. Here are some of the moving industry’s tried-and-true tips for making an office of any size look and feel bigger.

1. Think like a minimalist.

It’s time to part with some of your office furniture and equipment. When you’re transitioning to a smaller space, you need to be strategic about which items come with you and which stay behind. What do employees use every day in the office? Label those items as essentials. Sell or donate anything that is old, obsolete, duplicated or no longer needed to save space in your new office. A relocation company can help you liquidate any assets by finding buyers or providing tax-benefit donation services.

2. Take advantage of off-site storage.

If you’re on the fence about whether to pack or pitch an item, there’s a third option: place it in short or long-term commercial storage. Instead of using coveted floor or closet space for storage, your relocation partner can provide you with an off-site unit to hold any belongings you don’t need on site, such as hard copies of documents, spare furniture or overflow inventory. They will stay easily accessible to you without cluttering up your new space.

3. Find the light.

Natural light can make any space feel bigger, so ditch your office blinds and let the sun brighten up your desks. If you’re moving to an office without many windows, fasten some extra lights to the wall to make sure your employees won’t be sitting in any dark corners. Mirrors can also make your space brighter because of how they reflect light. Similarly, bright colors reflect light more than their darker counterparts, so if you have a say, paint your office’s walls white or grey.

4. Encourage remote work.

Companies are increasingly embracing hybrid work environments, so some of your employees may jump at the chance to work from home full-time. A recent survey by Breeze found that U.S. employees would take a five percent pay cut in exchange for continuing to work remotely. When you’re preparing for a downsize, spend some time deciding who you need in the office at all times. Can others work from home a few days a week or full-time? You can save space while boosting productivity and morale by making your office a flexible workspace.

5. Prioritize multi-functional furniture.

You can make the most of your office by investing in multi-purpose furniture. Instead of using standard office furniture, choose desks that your team can expand or retract depending on how much space they need that day. Fill your office with lightweight furniture that you can easily move out of the way when they’re not in use. The more ways you can use every piece of item in your office, the better off you will be.

6. Move your papers to the cloud.

You probably don’t need all those filing cabinets. Storing all your papers, manuscripts, records and other documents in your office may not be the best use of your space. Make your company as paperless as possible by setting up secure digital cloud storage for your individual and company files. If you need to maintain hard copies of those files as well, ask your relocation partner about their off-site storage solutions.

7. Embrace an open office plan.

Swap your traditional cubicles for shared desks with high dividers to add a more open layout to your office. If you need extra barriers between sections of your office, use portable, functional items like whiteboards. By saying goodbye to your company cubicles in favor of more flexible barriers, you can maintain productivity and order in your office without the added real estate.

8. Look up — not out.

In a smaller office, design experts recommend taking advantage of your vertical space. Tall, skinny furniture such as shelving units or standing desks will keep your office clean, organized and airy.

Preparing for a downsized move can be stressful without the right relocation partner. Armstrong – Atlanta can handle all of the details to get you settled in, from pre-move budgeting and floor-plan design to decommissioning, installation and relocation services. Call our experts today at 770.368.0368 or request a free quote online.

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