When your clients are in a cramped office space, saying they’re “unhappy” might be an understatement. Sometimes companies underestimate their growth rate ,and choose a too-small office space out of caution; some are hopelessly disorganized; and some might just have terrible layouts. However they got there, they need your help.
Spaces lacking a good flow can really grind the workday to a halt; papers go missing, printers and fax machines have long lines, frustrated employees can’t concentrate on important phone calls - it’s a mess. In these situations, your client’s first instinct might be to jump ship - to leave the space, and possibly you, in the dust, and move on. However, you already know that they’ll only be taking their organizational and layout problems with them. They need you to help them address the problem right here, in the current space.
How can you do that? Well, consider the following:
Help Them Organize
Many offices need little more than a quick lesson in organization, but your clients may not even realize it. The problems they’re experiencing often begin innocently - a continual need to access the same few files means the files get left on their desk. Soon, they’ve begin associating their own desk with “file storage”, and things really pile up. Then, because the desk is so overloaded, they order more furniture to allow them clear workspace, but all this extra furniture really torpedoes the concept of an economical work area. It’s a slippery slope.
Offer them a way out from under their mountains of paper by introducing them to some smart, organizational tools. Little tricks like wall-mounted shelves, or under-desk storage containers can free up a lot of floor and desk space. Uniform storage containers make for a cleaner and more streamlined office look, which often helps bring the stress level down significantly.
Help Them Streamline
Many offices have bins, cabinets, or even entire rooms filled with things that nobody interacts with, but that also can’t be thrown away for some reason. Here’s a hint for you: that reason is usually “I don’t know.” Now, we’re not saying you should go in there and force people to part with what may be important tax records, but every office has a few things which can easily be jettisoned.
Are there computer monitors that aren’t hooked up to computers? Are there two fax machines side-by-side, but only one of which actually works? Is the conference table sprawling all the way out to the 4 walls? These are all non-functional assets which are taking up valuable floor and desk space, and they can easily be removed or replaced with better solutions. Sometimes, all your clients need is a fresh set of eyes on their layout to help them see all the extra junk they’re hanging on to.
Help Them Focus On Individual Workspace
You may be hearing complaints that the employees feel like they don’t have anywhere to work (especially if your clients opted for an open floor plan). As the office gets squeezed, the people working there watch their available workspace get smaller and smaller. Elbow room becomes a huge commodity, and he or she with the grumpiest attitude often has the most. Now your clients have frustrated employees snapping at one another, getting less work done than ever before. You have to find a way to help them maximize privacy in open floorplans.
If there are no partitions between employees at all, you may want to suggest adding some, even if they’re modest. If your clients have their employees sharing desk space, you might want to present them with an alternative furniture solution to maximize workspace. When employees have clearly marked spaces to call their own, they feel like their work is being taken seriously. It’s as though they’re being told “What you do is important, so much so that you deserve the space to do it.” That’s how your clients will get their productivity back.
Relocation can sometimes be the first thought your clients jump to, but it isn’t always necessary. You can show your clients that you value them and their well being by taking an active role in office reorganization. You save them the time and money associated with moving, while also making sure the root causes of their disorganization are addressed.
If you are getting the sense that some of your clients might be in need of an office overhaul, a new layout, or even a move, check out this free guide, 7 Signs Your Clients Are Ready To Expand.