There are ways of reducing the costs of small business workplaces while improving worker efficiency and therefore increasing profits..
Many small businesses fail to utilize their workplaces to their best advantages.
Also, by being proactive in creating efficient workplaces, significant dollar savings can be effectuated.
“The design of workspace can enhance workflow and reduce operating costs. With the properly designed office, a small business may need 15 to 20 percent less space. This will allow them to save on each month’s rent or permit expansion before a move is needed,” said Mark Damico, President of The Workplace Group, Hauppauge, New York.
“Productivity of each individual within an organization can be enhanced. This can be accomplished by designing the space around the person rather than trying to fit the person to the space. An individual’s chair, keyboard, monitor and desk should be positioned for the individual instead of requiring the individual to adjust to the setup of one’s desk and equipment. When employees are comfortable, they will feel better, will need to get up less frequently, are less likely to get carpel tunnel syndrome, and in general will be happier. All of these factors result with a business operating more efficiently and profitably,” adds Damico.
“The design of an office can make a significant impact on profits. When individual workstations are set up properly and communications between workers are made easy, stress is reduced and communications are enhanced. An office design that takes natural light into account can also make a tremendous difference. Natural light coming through windows, sky lights, glass walls and glass incorporated into cubicle walls have proven to be a productivity enhancer,” said Damico..
- Here are Damico’s Strategies for small business workflow improvement: Optimize the use of vertical space. Many small businesses do not take advantage of vertical space on their walls. Virtual storage space can create more workspace, enhance organization and reduce clutter.
- Leasing furniture allows flexibility in spending and provides short term tax write offs. If a business is growing quickly this type of payment structure will allow for efficient upgrades and expansion.
- Shared work spaces. Today with technology more people are working on the road and don’t need the office as often. “Hoteling” can be used; this is where two or more sales people (or any staff members) can share a desk.
- Create collaborative work environments. Spaces created for groups can improve the ability to communicate, share ideas and solve problems. Generation X and Y workers prefer to work in environments like this and, when they do, are happier and more productive.
- Use centralized multifunction office machines. Instead of one copier and scanner at each desk, use one MSP (multifunction copier, scanner, printer) in a central location. This strategy reduces energy, toner and maintenance costs.
- Lower the cubical walls and open spaces up to allow for greater collaboration and for younger employees to observe, listen and learn from experienced staff members. Learning on the job improves skills and ability to perform tasks.
- Do away with or reduce the size of the seldom used board or meeting rooms. Instead, create smaller break out areas or enclaves for quick four- person meetings. This helps to promote rapid discussion of breaking or new ideas.