The Covid-19 situation has disrupted business in ways almost no one expected, and it continues to do so as restrictions begin to ease. While millions of Americans became unemployed, many were forced to work from home for the first time. Some employers are now realizing that some, or all, of their workers can work from home full time and are considering downsizing their expensive space. Here are some things to think about when considering downsizing your office.

1) Why am I downsizing?
Whether to keep your team safe, save money on rent or for some other reason it’s useful to completely understand why you’re taking this action and its possible ramifications. Get clear on the reasons first. After careful consideration it might be the smart thing to do, but there’s also a chance it may not be.

2) How will I manage my remote employees?
Let’s face it…it’s easier to manage a team that you can see and speak with at a moment’s notice. Meetings are better in person, acknowledgment is better in person…heck, just about everything is. That said, managing a remote team can be done with careful planning, thoughtfulness, and good time management. Remember that an office is a social atmosphere and humans are social by nature. When managing a team remotely it’s important to keep in mind that reaching out and speaking to your employees on a regular basis helps keep them motivated and lets them know they’re appreciated.

3) What will the costs be?
Rent costs money but so will downsizing. Whether downsizing for the long haul or short term there will be several expenses involved.
• What will it cost me to get out of my lease?
• If I’m not taking all my furniture and equipment with me, what will it cost to dispose of them? Speaking with an experienced liquidator may help defray some of the costs but so many organizations are doing this right now liquidators aren’t paying as much as normal for office furniture or equipment.
• What will it cost me to leave my space in “broom swept” condition? You can’t move out and leave a bunch of “stuff” in your old space, unless you don’t mind losing your security deposit and even then, your lease might prevent you from doing so. Someone will need to clean your space after you move out.
• How much will it cost me to store things I’m not taking with me but don’t want to sell or throw out? Storage might be an attractive option for both the long-and-short-term downsizing.
• What are the costs and security concerns with “purging” documents? When moving it makes good sense to not take things with you that serve no purpose but many of your documents might have security concerns. Using a NAID certified shredding company will cover your security concerns but there’s a cost to that too.

Downsizing may make perfect sense, but it’s smart to consider the possible ramifications before doing so.