We have talked about making the most of your office space, especially how office space design is a significant influence over productivity. It is easy to see the conflict of interest that this entails.

The sardine effect

Businesses are squashing more workers into more confined office space due to the pressure to cut costs. There is a growing feeling of unhappiness among employees who feel they are not getting sufficient personal space. If you are wondering what the situation regarding crowding is in London, please hop on the tube during rush hour! I have full confidence that you will have a new, more sardine like perspective.

Remember this when you are looking for an office, it is important to maximise the use of your space, but also keep in mind that turning your office into a battery farming experiment is a bad idea!

Over the last few years, the amount of office space available per employee has fallen by over a third. Planners now consider every square foot of office space right down to the size of the toilet! Your budget allowing, you should consider leaving some headroom, it is especially useful for if you plan to expand in terms of staff number as well as giving your current employees more space.

Telecommuting
If your business fits into the category of one that uses hot desking and flexibility through telecommuting, it might be somewhat more acceptable to employee tactics suck as reducing space between desks, dropping partitions and cutting storage.

Implications
One only has to look at the animal kingdom to see the effects of overcrowding, it is natural to get bad tempered and defensive in a confined space. In an open plan environment, a lack of room can make people feel threatened due to a lack of privacy. This even foster an unhealthy feeling of competition amongst workers through being always on display. Ultimately, it could go as far as causing absenteeism and staff turnover levels to soar.

The bottom line
The biggest cost in business is going to be your staff, so why waste that money by demotivating them with an awful work environment?

About Ian Kitchener

Ian Kitchener

Ian has advised Central London office occupiers for over 20 years. He loves fighting their corner and making sure they get what they need - a great office on the best commercial terms available.

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