When to Move Offices – 5 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Office Space

For many people, the office is like a second home. It’s where they spend most of their time, interact with colleagues, and unleash their creativity. As the boss, you’re responsible for maintaining the atmosphere and presentation of the place. After all, the work environment plays a significant role in your team’s productivity. So, if you find performance waning, it might be time to consider moving your office somewhere else.

The question is when? When is the right time to pack it up and move your business? To help you decide, here are five signs you’ve outgrown your office space. 

1. It’s Too Noisy

Nobody likes to work in a noisy place. You can’t concentrate with all the distractions, whether it’s people chit-chatting, your officemate’s playlist blaring in the neighboring cubicle, or the irritable sound of construction going on at the next building over. Too much noise can result in mess-ups and lackluster output.

Unfortunately, noise is an issue for many offices. Instead of focusing on their jobs, employees must contend with a day full of distractions.

Of course, a completely silent office isn’t great either. Employees also need to interact with each other and collaborate on different projects. So, when is noise considered too much? Try to observe your office for a day. Do you constantly hear all sorts of sounds? If yes, that’s an indication that you need a different place. It could be that you need a bigger space or one with some walls and sound-proofing.

2. You’re Using the Conference Room for Work

A conference room is a place for calls, board meetings, management discussions, one-on-one conversations, and other significant decision-making situations for the company. It’s supposedly a private space. However, it can be tempting to use the room for other purposes, like transferring some of the IT equipment there or letting new employees set up desks. This is not a good practice, though. It means that your company is running out of space. If you find yourself utilizing the conference room as a part of regular operations, you might have to consider moving to a larger office. Respect the conference room’s purpose.

3. The Employee Count Has Doubled

There are only two directions a company is headed: forward and backward. It’ll either grow or dissolve into nothing. Hopefully, if you manage your business well, it will expand, and you’ll have to hire more people to handle the extra business. However, while your business may scale over the years, your office space won’t–not unless you make the effort of doing so. This is one of the reasons why you might end up setting up desks in the conference room. To avoid future problems, it’s best to start hunting for a new office once you see your employee count rising.

4. There’s Clutter Everywhere

Similar to noise, clutter is the physical manifestation of distractions. A combination of these two automatically results in a dip in productivity. It also raises stress and anxiety levels for your employees. Common examples of office clutter include:

  • Supply clutter: Pens, notebooks, stick notes, binder clips, highlighters, rulers, and other things mostly found on employees’ desks or jammed into drawers and storage closets.
  • Paper clutter: Piles of documents, old copies, printed materials, and a mountain of paperwork lying around.
  • File drawer clutter: This includes the junk most people immediately hide in their drawers to give their desk the appearance of tidiness.
  • Equipment clutter: Old photocopier machines, old computers, and other tools that are rarely used but still valuable.

Although clutter is a normal part of office life, it can be overwhelming sometimes. When you notice there isn’t room for necessities even after organizing a general clean-up, it might be best to move to a larger office where you can keep things organized and out of sight.

5. There Are Better Deals Out There

Have you checked out commercial real estate lately? Are there newer office buildings out there with better amenities at a rate that’s on par with your current lease? While your existing space might hold memories, it’s wise to shop around from time to time to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck. Don’t be afraid to start hunting for a new office towards the end of your lease. Work with a commercial real estate broker to find deals on properties that will work for your business needs. 

Getting Ready to Move

Once you decide that it’s time for the company to venture to a new office and you’ve signed a lease, the next step is reaching out to a potential moving company. You want movers that reduce downtime during the transition, so your team can get back to work as quickly as possible. Arrange a walkthrough of the old and new spaces with your prospective movers. This step will enable them to evaluate the office’s size, map out obstacles, provide an accurate quote, and develop a streamlined moving plan. One last thing, remember to set out of office messages to let your customers know you’re moving. These messages can be set for email accounts, phone lines, and even printed and posted by your front door. Let clients know the estimated length of your transition and when you’ll be back in operation.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.