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Office Relocation -(14 Posts)
Our office is closing in a few years and we're being relocated to the other office 30 miles away. As they can't build more parking spaces for the 650 extra staff we're being told to consider flexibility working, which I take to include working from home.
As my team will miss the office banter, we are considering renting an office space and working from there.
I know that management will need to agree and it'll be brought up in the employee consultation but I wondered if anyone does this currently? Ie employed but work from rented office that you pay for...
Gosh, that sounds like a legal and logistical nightmare. Trying to get everyone to agree to a place to rent, effectively taking a pay cut to pay the rent on office space, then managing it as people leave, go on maternity, retire or get promoted? Who is going to kit your rented space with phone lines, internet etc - because you can be sure your employer's not up for that. Who decides who pays what? Whose name goes on the contract? Happy to be jointly and severally liable for several thousand pounds a year rent?
And all because you "miss the banter"? May I suggest you all get together for lunch once a week down the pub - cheaper, less complex and far less likely to cause colleague conflict.
Are you taking about renting a serviced office type thing? Or actually leasing space in someone's name and all paying towards it? I can't see the company agreeing to that in a million years. Apart from anything else, serviced office space is expensive because it really isn't intended for people to work from for years.
I've no experience of hat, but I do have experience of my employer shutting the office I used to work in, which housed about 500 people, and moving us all into a nearby office which already had about 500 people in it. In order to accommodate everyone, we were told we had to hot desk and work flexibly (ie at home some of the time). We dreaded it as we previously had had a nice cosy office for our team.
In the event, it was much better than we anticipated. I dislike working from home but gt used to doing so one or two days a week. We still had some banter and a feeling of being a team, but i all honesty we became more productive, plus we integrated more with other teams which meant we had a better outlook as a whole I think.
I would suggest you think of other ways of building team spirit. I used to occasionally miss our cosy team office but there is no way I would have paid a share of a serviced office out of my salary just to be near my team mates.
So you're discussing paying for office space yourself? That's unusual. Have you looked into prices?
So I did draft a response which has disappeared...so hopefully I'll answer all your points. Firstly thank you for responding. It would appear that I wasn't particularly clear.
At the moment due to working locally we are all able to have a work/life balance that works for us. The 30m extra commute will be on the M25 so could be an hour extra each way...or much more!
Work are v keen on collaborative and flexible working. I already work one day from home. I am able to access work calls via an app on my phone, so just need access to Wifi. However home isn't set up for work, if you know what I mean....and I'm not sure I'd like to do it for more than 2 days. So the idea is that we would look to lease office space individually locally.
I've looked at the cost and it will be cheaper than my additional petrol costs (plus wear & tear). I'll also possibly require second car. I could then maintain a work/life balance that works for me....
Perhaps I'm being stupid but how would this be different to me working from home?
I work on large projects so spend a lot of time on the phone..and I need to be able to bounce ideas off my team, and vice versa. It's not just "office banter" - but I didn't make that clear.
Welcome your thoughts :-)
What do you meant lease space "individually"? You are each going to rent a room in some kind of short-term office? Or you are going to identify somewhere with space for perhaps 10 people in one open-plan office and each contribute to the shared rent? If you rent individually it seems to defeat the purpose of working collaboratively, however having some kind of agreement between a group is full of difficulties. What happens if someone changes job or moves house? Or decides they don't enjoy the set-up? How will you cover any shortfall in rental?
So these are ideas that we've been thinking about. It is possible, in the town I live in, to individually lease a desk in an office. We would then be responsible for our own desks, paying individually.
However you raise a good challenge. If someone left how easy would it be to find a room with fewer desks.
We go to consultation in Jan so I'm just exploring ideas before then.
I think it's also normal when these things happen to think of what might seem slightly absurd ideas.
For those of you who work from home, do you have a separate defined working area?
When I work from home I have my laptop on the kitchen table.
Sometimes I have it on my lap in front of the TV for "company".
Some of my colleagues work from Costa or similar that has free WiFi. They are pretty accommodating if you buy the occasional coffee.
Jointly renting office space/desks might work in the short term, but mark my words, people will drift off to the mother office, or to other jobs and it will get more and more expensive to rent. You'll never recruit new people on the basis you describe.
Why don't you take it in turns to work together in someone's house a couple of times a week? Much cheaper and nicer. Or go the Costa route.
I've worked from home for years. I have a very small desk in the corner of the dining room. I work standing up, so no chair (although I do sit at the table if I want to hand write something). I'm almost completely paperless, so it doesn't have a big impact on the house.
The important thing is having good tools.to stay in touch. Chat (slack is great). Easy video and/or conference calling so there a no barriers to group convos.
I go into an office a day or two a week. I feel a bit lonely and isolated if I don't have any face to face contact.
Some places have co-working places (I've used indycube occasionally) were you can rent desks on an ad-hoc basis. That might with better than a f/t lease?
You say the office is closing in a few years? That sounds like a very long consultation!
We closed a small office a couple of years ago. One team couldnt have worked remotely and were made redundant. Everybody else moved to home working. It doesn't suit everybody. You have to be much more deliberate about communicating. There's lots of good advice online about making it work.
They are relocating 650 jobs and we'll have a 90 day consultation to determine the timeline for individual departments. Some jobs will go abroad.
Have you considered renting a house to work in? It works like airb&b, you rent the space while the original people who own the property are at work or away. Or you could work from home, but rent a space to meet up hourly. You don't want to spend all your money on renting. Have you looked at Skype /webex for real time chats?