There is no doubt that the idea of moving into a new office space is a terrifying one. It’s like all of the stress of moving home in your personal life, only worse because there’s so many more people involved. It’s one thing to have to round up your kids and partner to get them ready to move – contemplating doing the same thing for a whole host of employees? Nightmare.
It’s also a big leap in terms of confidence. The moment you decide that you need a bigger business space, it’s an acknowledgement that your business is growing. You’re doing well. That’s a positive thing; a sign that the idea you have nurtured into fruition is one that is going to thrive. However, it’s such a big change, especially if you began with a laptop and the spare bedroom as your office. It can feel like you’re not quite ready to acknowledge the need to go ahead and take that leap; it’s such a huge chasm, you’re not sure how you will ever get the courage to cross it.
Thankfully – in some senses – there are often signs which can help to take the decision entirely out of your hands. Rather than it being something you observe and act on, your business as a whole has a way of telling you that it needs some room to breathe. The signs are there – you just have to be ready to see them, and know what they mean. When you learn to pick up on these signs, you can be sure that it’s not just you; your business is making it clear that it’s time to research your commercial properties options and see about moving on up.
Sign #1 – Employees Are Arguing
One of the biggest signs of this problem is when employees begin to argue. Obviously, this has some caveats. If two members of staff who have never gotten on are continuing to snipe at one another, that’s just another day and not necessarily a sign of a need for expansion. It might be worth trying to make them mediate their differences, though!
No, the problem becomes evident when members of staff who have previously been nothing but civil are suddenly picking at one another. As the boss, this might not be something you are overtly aware of – they’re unlikely to go to town with the insults in their employer’s presence. However, you can usually pick up on a tension in your work environment, carefully concealed beneath the surface but actually festering away and undermining your business.
Employees tend to argue when they are feeling stressed and like they don’t have the time and space to perform their job. The more stressed, the shorter their fuse is, and thus the problems develop. If this is becoming a more and more prominent problem in your work environment, then it might mean that everyone – quite literally! – needs some space to calm down.
Sign #2 – You Can Never Find Anything
It’s impossible for any business environment to be organized all the time, but if you spend half of your working day hunting down various objects? That’s a glaring sign that your organization has slipped.
Maybe that’s happened because you’re not that organized to begin with; there’s no way of ruling that out. However, if you previously managed just fine but now find yourself struggling, a viable culprit is that your current premises are straining to accommodate a growing business.
Sign #3 – You’re Late With Orders
Whether you sell goods that you manufacture or just work in the services sector, the idea of reaching a point where you’re so busy you are late with orders is… well… it’s hard to see as a bad thing. You know your customers/clients won’t like it, but as the business owner, the idea of being overwhelmed by business is a comforting one. You’re doing well!
However, too much overrun and those customers/clients that were understanding at the beginning may begin to sour. You may be bringing too much work in, which means you need more space for the staff to meet those demands. Or you may literally be running out of space. For example, if you run a bakery and you are late on orders as you don’t have enough oven space, that’s a pretty clear sign that you need somewhere bigger.
Sign #4 – Cramped Confines
When you reach a certain number of employees, there are certain things that a business needs to offer. This includes things such as:
- Adequate bathroom facilities, ideally with more than one stall.
- Somewhere for people to store food and cook it – a small kitchen area of some sort is the most useful.
- A storage area, for coats, bags, and anything else people may bring to work that isn’t directly related to their job.
- Desk space for everyone, especially if you work in the services sector.
Now, of course, you can ‘make do’ without these things. It’s possible to run a business without what could be considered luxuries, but it’s important to understand just how much a lack of these things could impact productivity. Employees – and you, for that matter – need to feel that they can be efficient as they strive to meet their work commitments. Coping with a bad environment is possible, but you have to ask yourself if it’s really giving everyone the room to get the most out of themselves. And if that’s not the case, then it’s your company that’s going to suffer.
Sign #5 – You Are Having To Make Shortcuts
A shortcut, for example, would be not having enough available power sockets – so you’re running important business equipment from power outlets. It’s possible to exist by working around problems like this, or the leak in the roof, or the lack of an area to greet potential clients – but it’s not ideal. If you have to make too many accommodations to make your current premises work for you, then it’s probably not worth it. Rather than wasting time on workarounds, you’d be better moving on and thus being able to focus more on the core of your business.