Short On Office Space? Here Are 12 Small Office Ideas

Last updated:
Feb 21, 2024
Commercial Real Estate


Tenant CS
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Is your office space feeling a little cramped? Try these 12 small office ideas to help you make the most out of the space you have.

Tip 1: Go paperless

Filing cabinets and other physical document storage units are less necessary nowadays and take up lots of space. So, go digital and take advantage of cloud storage systems.

Tip 2: Declutter

Research shows that clutter adds to the stress of the daily grind and can suck up needed space. So, encourage your employees to audit their workstations and get rid of anything that they’re hoarding.

Tip 3: Let there be light

Dark spaces tend to feel smaller. Allow more natural light into your premises wherever you can. Where that’s not possible, use light fittings and fixtures to brighten any dark areas that you have. But keep in mind that top-down lighting pools all the light in one place, which won't help your cause.

If you're lucky enough to have some lovely big windows, stay away from blinds and curtains to help give the space more depth.

Tip 4: Stick to light colours

Dark colours absorb light instead of reflecting it, which can make a space feel smaller than it really is. So, opt for light-coloured carpets, tiles, floorboards and paint to make your space feel roomier.

Image of a de-cluttered desk | Commercial tenant representative services article

Tip 5: Buy space-saving, multi-purpose and adjustable furniture

These days, there is a range of space-saving, multipurpose and adjustable furniture out there - perfect for tighter office spaces.

Stick to office furniture that you need and use regularly. Stay away from purely decorative pieces and, instead, try some small, smart space decorating ideas. For instance, lay down a vertically striped rug to make your room appear longer, hang a large piece of art or invest in some large mirrors.

Tip 6: Take advantage of vertical space

It’s amazing how much space you can save with effective wall shelving. What's more, hanging shelves close to the ceiling draws the eye upward, creating the illusion of a larger space!

Tip 7: Consider flexible working arrangements

Do all your staff need to be at your office at the same time?

As we know, the pandemic opened the door to remote working. And, despite people returning to the office, many continue to work flexible hours.

Flexible working arrangements can also reduce your need for office furniture. For example, you can potentially introduce hot desking rather than giving every staff member their own desk.

Tip 8: Choose an open plan layout

Open plan offices naturally feel more spacious than those with multiple closed areas. They can also promote collaboration and a culture of transparency. Instead of partitioning, try using rugs to separate an open space into smaller spaces (another small, smart space decorating idea).

Image of an open plan office | Commercial tenant representative services article

Tip 9: Try walking meetings

If you’re short on meeting space, why not try walking meetings?

Walking meetings are just what they seem, a meeting that's held while taking a walk rather than sitting in a meeting room, the office, or a coffee shop. Studies have shown that walking can boost creative output by circa 60%, plus we all know sitting is the new smoking.

So, what are you waiting for? Get those steps up!

Tip 10: Reconsider your flooring

Choosing the right flooring can help increase the perceived size of a room while improving its appeal and function. These four tips can help give the illusion of more space:

  1. Light coloured flooring
  2. Use wall-to-wall flooring across all rooms to create a seamless effect
  3. If you’re installing floorboards, run them diagonally or parallel to the longest wall. And opt for planks rather than strips
  4. If you are opting for carpet tiles, as with floorboards, choose larger tiles to help open up the space

Tip 11: Create functional common areas

If your space is made up of small offices or features lots of cubicles, things can start to feel a little cramped. Sometimes there’s no way around it, but, where possible, try converting common into functional areas for casual meetings or a change of scenery.

Tip 12: Rethink your office space altogether

At one point in time, the cost of relocating and installing a new fit-out would deter tenants from moving offices. However, the market has shifted in favour of tenants.

As it stands, market rents for comparable space will likely be a lot less than what you’re paying now. And many tenancies come fully-fitted on short and flexible lease terms.

So, maybe it’s time for an upgrade?

Tenant CS is a commercial tenant advisory service that offers tenant representation services for businesses across Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

We represent you, the tenant, and our in-depth knowledge of the leasing market gives our clients a competitive advantage when it comes to finding a space, negotiating a commercial lease and understanding your rights.

Here’s why working with us for your next move is more valuable than ever!

Need some advice? Get in touch with our team today!

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