As commercial property prices increase, so employers are looking at ways of cutting costs, especially overheads. If you currently have a large office with a city view, you're either a lawyer or you're about to lose that cushy office for a smaller space (quite possibly a cubicle or some other open-plan arrangement). It's not a case of if it's happening, but rather when it's happening. The economy is tight and about to get tighter, so hang onto your office desk and try the following to make the most of your small office space:
1. Show off your accomplishments
There's lots of advice out there about personalising your office space with photos of the kids and the family dog, but that may just turn your 9-to-5 into an extended state of longing for home. Rather, give your workspace a touch of personal professionalism: print and pin up emails and letters of gratitude, praise, and appreciation from customers and clients. This subtle publicity of your work achievements will encourage you to keep up your game; will get you recognised by your boss; and will ensure you're next up for a larger cubicle if a promotion is on the cards.
2. Settle the dust quickly
There's nothing worse than office politics and conflict to make a small office space feel even smaller. Resolve conflict and nip gossip in the bud as soon as it arises. Be the problem-solver; the mediator. Proponents of feng shui claim that in order to not attract back-stabbing and bad vibes, you shouldn't sit with your back to a door or window... lest you be pushed out of it!
3. Keep it clean
As busy as you may be at a small workspace, it's important to keep it clean and tidy. Dust your desk once or twice a week, clear away clutter, and wipe down phones, keyboards, and other regularly-touched things around your desk or cubicle. Whether it's a matter of personal hygiene or the symbolic clearing away of old projects and tasks before starting new ones, nothing amplifies a small space more than dirt and clutter.
4. Let the light in
While you may begrudge a small office or cubicle if you've enjoyed the luxury of space in the past, you can create the illusion of space by improving the lighting around you. Open blinds to take advantage of eco-friendly natural lighting, or - if you're not near any windows - get rid of fluorescent lights and rather have energy-saving LED's installed. Your concentration will improve, especially in the absence of the annoying buzzing sound of fluorescent tubes.
Visit the water cooler for frequent top-ups to your hydration, to stretch your legs, and to greet co-workers. Regularly seeing a variety of faces will remind them - and you - that the whole office (not just your work space) belongs to you and your team and will make it feel larger than it actually is.