When Your Office Move Means Less Space: Strategic Downsizing

Dustin Staiger

Most of the time, growing your business means moving your office into a space with more square feet, not fewer. Most of the time, “downsizing” describes a low point in a company’s history. Most of the time, increasing productivity just means everyone has enough space to work alone quietly. As you’ll see… today’s workplace seems to no longer care about “most of the time.”

Recent trends related to office moves have been unusual. A growing number of successful companies are strategically downsizing in order to save money, improve collaboration, and boost productivity. Let me repeat: these are successful companies doing this. And here are 3 reasons why your company should do the same.

1. Save Money with an Office Move that Strategically Downsizes

“We’re going to a better building in a better location for less money.” AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt summed up his motivation for moving the Associated Press New York Headquarters through a strategic downsizing. In early 2017, the journalism company is moving into a space with 40% less space.

“We’re going to a better building in a better location for less money.”

And it’s not because they aren’t doing well. Instead, the Associated Press team realized that by moving offices, they could use their space more efficiently and re-allocate their real estate dollars into something more worthwhile. “Those savings can be put toward our mission,” said Pruitt, “AP would have preferred to avoid the disruption and cost of a move but will wind up paying a few million dollars less for the new space.” Your office move may or may not save you millions, but it can certainly save you money. 

2. Strategically Downsize to Improve Collaboration

Moving into an office with fewer square feet can actually improve collaboration between your employees. That was the case when Atlanta-based ad agency 22 Squared teamed up with Houston’s own Gensler Architects.  22 Squared’s Executive VP and Chief Administration Officer Mike Grindell says he “wanted people to work wherever the work is, in whatever style.”

The agency moved from 3 floors to only 2 and remodeled traditional spaces to be group-friendly. According to Gensler’s Workplace Performance Index (read more about that here), the office move boosted 22 Squared’s collaboration by 22%! Happy with the results, Grindell said, “You see and feel work happening all over the space. There’s better density, energy and productivity on two floors now than two and a third before.” 

Learn more about improving collaboration between employees

3. Your Office Move Could Boost Productivity

Office move time can create a rush of adrenaline in your employees that will overlap into your productivity. In cases like GlaxoSmithKline and Deltek, a “footprint reduction program” led to a leaner, more agile workplace. The program was initiation when executives realized 35% of their work activities were taking up 85% of their space. For GSK’s Executive VP, Christian Bigsby, “The question became: if the company provides 85% of its space for 35% of its work, where was the rest happening?”

“The question became: if the company provides 85% of its space for 35% of its work, where was the rest happening?”

The search for the answer led Bigsby to a strategic downsizing. “Our solution is to press down the 85% dedicated space and increase the variety of alternative work spaces, because people’s activities did not align to the traditional spaces. The desk space is now about half of our footprint.”

With less space, GlaxoSmithKline instituted methods like hot desking to expedite their daily processes. For Deltek, the reduction in space after their office move paid off in productivity. According to Keith Parker, President and Chief Executive of Deltek,  “Our contract cycle used to take three to four days. Now we’ve cut it to hours.”

Accenture moved from 3 floors and 66,000 square feet to 1 floor and 25,000 square feet.  Learn more about downsizing and making the most of your office space from the Steelcase Accenture Case Study Video.

Ask Office Movers Tough Questions About Strategic Downsizing

What sets McCoy-Rockford apart from many moving companies is our expertise in the unique requirements when relocating a business (including the complexities of breaking down, storing, delivering and installing furniture).  According to Angie’s List’s Oseye Boyd, you’ll know which moving company is prepared to offer you savings in time and money rather than expensive delays when you investigate their experience with office moves and strategic downsizing.

By being the best in commercial office interiors, McCoy-Rockford doesn’t have to guess at how to maximize your new space after your office move. Using furniture and equipment to turn half the space into double the revenue and customers is what we do on a routine basis.

Key Takeaways

1. Whether your company needs it or not, downsizing can be a strategic business move.

2.  Downsizing done correctly can save your company money.

3. Industry trends and studies show collaboration increases when companies downsize strategically.

4. Downsizing brings a boost in productivity.

5. McCoy-Rockford has the answers when it comes to how your office move can get results by strategically downsizing.