5 Tips for Setting Up a Cheap Office Space

If small business owners have learned one thing from operating in a rough economy, it’s that it’s always a good idea to keep a low overhead. Witness the rapid increase in work-at-home policies over the past couple of years.

Sometimes, however, you have to provide a physical space for your business. When that’s the case, the goal is to minimize expenses while still getting the office you need and deserve. Here a few tips for cutting costs.

1. Share a Space

Also, many coworking spaces look like coffee shops on spaceships.

Also, many coworking spaces look like coffee shops on spaceships.

Coworking spaces are hot right now, and for good reason: for companies that don’t have the ability or desire to sign on for a long-term lease, they offer a way to get all the necessities of “home” without the commitment, and often at considerably less expense. Most coworking spaces offer a variety of different levels of membership, from full-time, multi-desk packages to part-time space to just a conference room when you need one.

2. Develop a Work-at-Home Policy

Candles optional.

Candles optional.

When it comes to setting up a work-at-home policy, it’s not all or nothing. Employees with projects that don’t require a lot of face-to-face meetings might work at home most of the time, while workers who are engaged in more socially-oriented tasks can spend more time at the office.

3. Try Hot Desking

You'll need a lot of plugs.

You’ll need a lot of plugs.

If you decide to allow workers to WAH as needed, consider setting up a schedule that will allow you to use one desk for multiple employees — or skip assigning desks altogether and embrace an open plan office that allows workers to sit wherever is convenient for the day’s tasks.

4. Bring Your Own Devices

Historically, the Mac people are most excited about this.

Historically, the Mac people are most excited about this.

Many companies have found that it’s cheaper to have their workers use their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones, even if the company provides an allowance to cover the purchase of these mobile devices. It’s also good for morale: Employees tend to be happier when the Mac folks get to use their iPads and the PC people get to tap out those TPS reports on their Dells. Just make sure the tech support person is well-versed in the most common devices, and you’ll be all set.

5. Buy Used Office Furniture

Better than new! Also, way cheaper.

Better than new! Also, way cheaper.

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that gently-used, expertly-refurbished office furniture like we sell at Arnolds looks just as good as new equipment, at a fraction of the price. Contact us today to find the perfect furniture for your office.

Images:

visualpunch/Flickr, gibsonsgolfer/Flickr, olishaw/Flickr, ivyfield/Flickr, Arnolds Office Furniture

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