Not many companies realize this, but ignoring their office space is like playing tennis three times a week and ignoring the wear and tear on your knees and ankles.
One day, you pivot or turn the wrong way at high speeds, and suddenly you’re out of commission with a torn ACL and months of inactivity.
I wish I were being dramatic.
But that almost happened to the team at EqualFirst.
EqualFirst was a trailblazing tech company. They had successfully secured lucrative contracts and were expanding rapidly.
So rapidly, that they were maxing out their office space.
But they were so busy fulfilling contracts and growing the business that they accepted the cramped space like a tight quad muscle: uncomfortable, but something they could live with.
And they put the tedious chore of evaluating their real estate on the back burner.
After all, it was a fixed cost, a silent hum in the background of their dynamic, bustling operation. And, making a big decision about real estate was something that leadership did not look forward to. In fact, they had never been faced with this type of decision before and turned a blind eye to it.
Until one sunny afternoon, an exhausted employee, struggling to find a quiet corner for a client call, lamented out loud: “Why are we still stuck in this sardine can?”
There was an awkward silence. Someone had finally acknowledged the elephant in the room, but the team responded with a dismissive chuckle and a non-committal “We’ll look into it.”
Then they went back to their screens, the pressing need for a larger space temporarily forgotten again.
Fast forward a few months, and their lease renewal date whooshed by unnoticed while the team was fully immersed in their latest contract.
And suddenly, the once innocuous issue of real estate had transformed into a debilitating injury.
The cramped quarters led to declines in productivity, employee frustration, and a toxic culture that spread faster than a wildfire.
And when the golden opportunity to hire key individuals for a new contract came up, there was literally no room for them.
EqualFirst was stuck. Locked into their lease, and cramped in an office they had long ago outgrown.
They couldn’t grow their team or their profits, and their real estate problems were literally threatening to put them out of business.
It was an expensive lesson, a wake-up call that even the quietest costs can transform into problematic noisemakers. As the saying goes, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”
This type of reactive approach can lead to missed opportunities and even higher costs in the long run.
If your real estate agreement creates problems for your business, why not take a proactive approach?
There are four ways you can do this right now:
- Turn Procrastination into “Productive Procrastination.” Procrastination can be a sign that a task is not meant for you. But if you’re going to procrastinate, do it productively. Instead of controlling the process, delegate tasks whenever possible. This will free up your time and empower your team members. Set goals, establish priorities, and suggest breaking the big rocks into consumable nuggets.
- Understanding Procrastination Triggers. According to research cited by Harvard Business Review, understanding the seven triggers that cause procrastination can help you overcome it faster. These triggers could be boredom, frustration, difficulty, lack of structure, personal meaning, intrinsic reward, or ambiguity. Address them so you’re not setting your business up for plateaus in growth or costly lease agreements.
- Switch Up Your Environment. Sometimes, a change of scenery can do wonders for your productivity. Consider stepping away from your office and seeing some inspiring offices. Your broker can facilitate these tours for you. Or meet with an architect. One of my go-to design firms in Charlotte is Little and Associates. I accompany office clients to their offices so they can take inspiration from the lively workspace and engage in a creative process that produces an inspiring vision for a company’s future workspace.
- Embrace the Power of Collaboration. When the weight of big decisions starts to stifle your resolve, remember that two heads are often better than one. Reach out to your trusted team members, engage industry experts, or even consider a brainstorming session with a group of your peers. Harnessing the collective wisdom and experience of others can provide fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to the complex challenges at hand. In the real estate world, no man is an island. So, don’t be afraid to leverage your network.
Of course, if you really want to simplify life for yourself and your team, you can tackle all four of these at once by using The Deal Canvas™ to identify your office space needs and develop better, most cost-effective solutions.
We designed it to transform complex business real estate decisions into manageable, bite-size components.
The Deal Canvas™ helps you:
- Understand and eliminate the triggers that lead you and your company to procrastinate on making important real estate decisions.
- Delegate complex decisions so you can take control of your lease or transition.
- Facilitate inspiring outings for teams so you can see firsthand what new digs will look like.
- Build reliable, trustworthy relationships with brokers, architects, builders, and developers so you’re never feeling intimidated or overwhelmed by the real estate world.
You might say The Deal Canvas™ is a map for assessing your current office situation and planning out your desired future: Ideal space, ideal cost, and ideal control over lease terms.
By using The Deal Canvas™, your business can stay agile, make data-informed decisions, and nimbly navigate the ever-evolving market landscape, all while keeping a keen eye on your bottom line.
You’ll find The Deal Canvas™ here.
And if you have any questions, my team and I are here to help.
We’ve saved numerous businesses from injuries hidden in their real estate plans. We’ll happily help you with yours.