Hack 1: Workplace Densification
Updated: Nov 21
The office feels dead, no sense of team and very few people want to come in.
This is not a new challenge but I’ve seen it time and again these past two years with no action taken. So here’s one low cost way of dealing with that.
A sparsely populated office is soulless place to work. People who do come in are spread out across the office, they gain no sense of team, with little spontaneous interaction and collaboration taking place.
Take away a whole chunk of the space, temporarily decommission it, and condense the work area; for the purpose of this exercise, say by 50%.
Physically screen off the decommissioned space or lock off a floor.
Now, before the outcry begins, this shouldn’t happen overnight and it definitely shouldn’t happen without engaging with employees. (I can share more on how to do this if you leave a comment or message me).
The real benefits of ‘densifying’ or consolidating the working area is one of bringing people in close proximity with one another.
It enables all the things missing from the current empty office space mentioned above, and yes, it enables focus work too.
It’s also a low cost way of modelling new space types, work-settings, technology and working arrangements.
And when the workplace becomes more interactive and engaging (as it will when densified) you’ll most likely see more regular attendance, people will feel part of a team, desire greater engagement and if you need more space, you can always open up a small part of the decommissioned space.
This is also ideal when you’re thinking about your future space strategy for when a lease expires.
Now, at the beginning of this post I said this is one way, there are of course plenty of other ways to address low occupancy, some of which will work in tandem with this, others will replace this approach.
I saw this approach work well first in the late 1990’s, and again pretty much every year since then.
If you want help, reassurance or guidance on this and other workplace strategies, do reach out.