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Are You Paying for Unused Office Space?

By wizu | 29 September 2022

There’s no question that real estate is expensive and becoming more so. And it’s one of the highest expenses a business faces after salaries. So, paying for unused space can be a huge expense for a company. But how do you know if your business is paying for unused space? One solution may be a space utilisation study.


What is a Space Utilisation Study?

A space utilisation study takes a look at how and when people use different spaces in an office. The study involves a team of auditors that observe the workplace and review when desks and other spaces are used. They compile all the information for the company that provides insights into how space can better be optimised and how to create an environment that works for employees and the business.


What Should You Do If Your Business is Paying for Unused Office Space?

If you have a space utilisation study done and learn there are unused spaces in the office, there are several things you can do. For instance, you may want to consider whether moving to a smaller office is a reasonable choice. You may also consider updating your current space or renting out unused spaces to freelancers and start-ups.

Having extra office space provides you with several valuable options for your business. You can use the space in different ways and create a more flexible office space. Even so, it’s still crucial to maximise office space, so you don’t waste space or lose money on unused spaces.

A space utilisation study can provide the answers you need. We’ve put together a list of examples that may be a great option for your business when it comes to paying for unused space.


1. Relocate to a Smaller Office

For businesses that have a lot of unused space, it may be worth relocating to smaller premises. Having too much unused space can harm a company’s profitability and have a negative impact on company culture.

However, before you make this decision, be sure to consider whether your current office could be optimised to have a more positive impact on the company’s bottom line and culture. These days, there’s a great need for agile spaces and breakout areas to make employees feel more comfortable. They can also enjoy greater flexibility when it comes to where and how they work. And if you expect to expand in the future, considering the number of employees needed will let you know if it’s time for a larger space or not.

If moving to a smaller office is the right choice, it’s necessary to find a workplace consultant who can support your relocation efforts.


2. Refurbish & Optimise Your Current Office

In some cases, the space utilisation study may show that your spaces are under- or over-utilised. If the study turns up spaces that are used effectively, it’s important to consider why that is. Do these spaces offer employees the right tools they need to get work done? Is the space uninspiring or depressing? Does your current technology allow employees to work in the space comfortably? Are there issues with the maintenance of the space?

You may also want to compare under- and over-utilised spaces. Ask these questions:

Does the team need more meeting spaces and collaboration spaces?

If yes, you may want to consider your current office and create more highly-used workspaces. It’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons of an office update and whether this is the right choice for your business.


3. Rent Out Unused Spaces

Coworking spaces are in more demand than ever. They provide a professional work environment for freelancers, start-ups, companies that need to create a work hub, and more. Coworking spaces offer a great workspace without a long-term commitment. However, it may be possible to put your unused office space to use in this way.

Your unused business space could be rented out to freelancers and other organisations that require more space and need flexible lease options. However, it’s essential to consider if your own lease allows subletting your office spaces to others in this way.


4. Create a Multipurpose Area

A space utilisation study may also determine if your company needs a multipurpose area. This can be an excellent way to put space to work. For instance, empty office space can become a place that’s available on-demand for a wide range of purposes. It could be used as a breakout space or a collaborative space. Whatever space your business lacks, the unused space can be used in that way.


4. Event Space

Under-utilised space may also be used as an event space, depending on the amount of space available. You could turn this into a space for small business gatherings, hosting birthday parties, and more. However, it’s imperative to check your lease to ensure that you can use the space in this way.

If your landlord is on board with using the extra space in this way, ask these questions before making it available:

  • What types of events would work best in your space?
  • What upgrades are necessary (if any) to make the space more usable and appealing to potential customers?
  • How much time can you dedicate to each event to ensure setup and clean-up are taken care of?


5. Professional Development & Training

You may also consider whether the unused space may be used for professional development and training. Offering empty office space for workshops, in-person work sessions, and more can be a great way to put that space to use and make more income.

However, if you choose this route, it’s best to make sure that the space can connect to the network. And your network needs to be secure, stable, and reliable. Plus, most people expect high-speed Interconnections with both wired and wireless connectivity.

Be sure to put all that in place before renting out your company’s unused space.


Summing It Up

Empty office space can be a huge drain on your company’s budget. However, having a space utilisation study done may offer ideas on how the space can be used. The study may also show it’s time to make the move to a new office.

Whatever the outcome, a space utilisation study provides the information your company needs to run efficiently and stay productive without wasting money on unused space.

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