The problem with office space is that it costs money. Forget about business growth; how can a company that is just beginning to see an increase in profits hire more employees when there is no work space for them? It is a delicate chord to strike, as the work load needs to be managed efficiently without necessarily violating any fire department codes.
To find office space may take up quite a chunk of start-up costs, which the Kaufmann Foundation estimated was about $30,000 in 2009. Of the money set aside each month for the actual office space, roughly 80% goes directly to operational costs such as utilities, and the lease. As the leases for office spaces are typically flexible in duration, the company that signed on for 10 years but needs more space is in a leaky boat compared to a company that was skeptical and signed for only a year. For small businesses that cannot afford the move to a bigger office space, there are a few options.
One option that many businesses have already taken advantage of is virtual offices, which can be used for jobs that allow telecommuting. This has the added benefit of appeasing employees who favor a flexible schedule. If eventually a bigger space is available, it is possible to move these satellite workers in to the company work space and office culture.
An alternative is temporary office space. This option is not feasible for all business types, but for those that see peaks and valleys in profit on a regular time schedule might consider to rent office space instead of leasing it permanently. Similar to seasonal retail workers, the extra space is there when needed with the extra help, but is let go when things slow down. Again, this may be a viable choice only for those businesses that have a clear “on” and “off” season.
It is not easy to start a business. To do well, the focus cannot only be on growing the customer base; it must also be on the employees. A work load that is too heavy could cost a business employees, and employee turnover costs more than many realize until it happens to them. While it is rarely possible to create a sleek modern space your workers adore, it is possible to give them enough room to do their best, with perhaps some clever solutions.