4 Steps to Reduce your Office Operating Cost
In Singapore, a large portion of office operating costs goes to office rental and others are attributed to utility fees such as water, electricity, or telecommunication, office cleaning and ad-hoc repair & maintenance costs.
Reducing the overall office operating expenses can save your company’s bank account and leaving you with more money to spend on the things important to drive your business.
Below are the 4 steps to reduce your office operating costs:
1. Go Digital
Productivity is the key to a business’s success- no matter the industry. Take the necessary steps to streamline your office activities by going digital! Not only are digital processes vastly more efficient, they are also far less costly.
Here are a few different ways you can go digital in your office
Cut Down Prints
The average office worker accumulates 10,000 sheets of office paper per year! This shocking fact is a testament to just how much we waste each and every day when it comes to things as simple as office supplies. In the end, you might wonder: “Why did I have to print this in the first place?”
Instead of printing off documents, opt to view them online and edit them on cloud-based file management solution. By minimising your printing needs, you can reduce your office budget for paper, toner/ printer ink, files, storage space and archival management.
From the perspective of privacy and security, it also makes more sense not to have confidential documents lying open on the desk. Digital document management solutions offer role-and-user-based access management functionalities to better secure your data.
As a business owner, you are well aware of the number of contracts and forms that you and your employees have to sign each and every day. With so much paperwork to keep in order, it’s likely you haven’t even considered how much you’re costing yourself. Instead of printing sheet after sheet of paper only to have your employees sign it and file it away to rarely be seen, try sending contracts in digital formats. Digital signatures are just as binding as those on paper!
Embrace Technology With Video Conferencing Tools
Communication with your team and prospective clients is incredibly important to your business’s overall success. While you may think it necessary to put your employees up in the best hotels when they go on business trips, you don’t necessarily have to treat this as a standard. Cut down unnecessary spending and even your carbon footprint by going digital!
Use the innovative video conferencing tools of today to hold business meetings whenever possible- saving your company time and money. It’s easier than ever to collaborate via screen sharing so do use this tool to your advantage!
Technologies improvements have a positive impact in making business run more efficiently in a more cost-effective manner. Going digital has a positive effect on the environment as well, which brings us to our next topic, going green.
2. Go Green
Environmentally aware office space is not only good for the Earth, but it’s also good for your financial well-being! Operating costs shrink when the office space is environmentally conservative, partially because of the limited amount of resources used. The less electricity you use, the lower your overall utility bill will be as well. Here are some things you can do within your office space in Singapore to go green:
No Paper Cups, Only Mugs
When stocking up the office kitchen, consider investing in coffee mugs that can be regularly washed for repeated use. As convenient as paper cups are, they’re both incredibly wasteful and costly. You can save yourself a lot of money by providing coffee mugs for your staff.
Adopt LED Lighting
When it comes to workplace lighting, you can’t go wrong with LED lighting. LED lighting is a great way to do your part for the planet and reduce your spending by going green. Is your office currently using standard incandescent bulbs? You’re practically throwing money out the window.
Compared to standard incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs consumer far less energy. For example, a 60 watt incandescent bulb uses an estimated 525 kilowatt-hours of energy every year in a typical office place. In comparison, a 60 watt LED bulb will use a minuscule 65 kilowatt-hours of energy. You can clearly see that the opportunity to cut office space rental costs is huge by simply opting for LED lighting.
Choose Energy-Efficient Products
Furnish your workplaces with certified Energy-efficient products to cut down on electrical energy consumption. Some of the well-recognised product labelling are Energy Star, Energy Label (certified by NEA) or Green Seal. Generally, office electronic equipment like computers, printers, beamers, TVs and monitors, carrying these logos have been proved to be eco-friendly and one can save up to 30% in energy on average.
Regulate The Temperature
According to a poll conducted by WWF Singapore for Earth Hour 2011, it was reported that among 450 participants, 40 % are not happy with the air-conditioning at their offices. 3 out of 4 faced health issues such as flu, cough and dry skin. Even though this might be a trivial issue to some, it does have a noticeable effect on employees’ productivity. Most of the time, temperature extremes waste productive energy. Organisations are encouraged to set their air-conditioning temperatures at 24°C or above, to not just save on electricity bills, but to also keep in mind the health of individuals working and visiting their workplaces.
3. Rent What You Need and Maximise the use of space
When it comes to office rental cost in Singapore, every square foot count! Think carefully about your office requirements ie. the number of meeting rooms, desks, office equipment, private rooms, pantry based on the number of employees you currently have or plan to have over the office lease period. It’s important to make sure you don’t exceed floor-space requirements significantly based on the planned headcount.
Here is how you can reduce operating cost due to office rental:
Engage Workplace Designer
Do get a qualified workplace designer to design an efficient office layout and make a recommendation in better space utilisation. Designer’s forte is in space planning and they could help you in future proofing your space.
For instance, if you have plans to grow your headcount from 20 to 25 within the 3 years lease period, the designer could provision the space for the additional 5 desks to be added easily in later with minimal disruption. Meanwhile, the provisional space can be designed for soft seating and ad-hoc casual team discussion.
Build Lesser Rooms. Leverage Co-working space.
Bigger meeting rooms are often the least utilized space in the office. You may consider booking meeting rooms in nearby co-working space or to combine 2 adjacent smaller meeting rooms, separated by acoustic collapsible or operable wall. Some non-confidential team discussion could also be taken in open space instead of a meeting room, which generally takes up more space.
Create Multi-Purpose Workspace
When it comes to the pantry, cafés, reading rooms, employee lounges, or collaboration spaces, join these functions together where you can! Many of these work space types can be combined to create well-utilized multi-purpose area, saving on floor area while satisfying your employees’ needs.
After optimising on your space, you may realise how ad-hoc purchases to replace faulty furniture can be troublesome and costly. Here’s how you can avoid it from the beginning:
4. Spend on Quality Office Furniture
Spending on good quality office furniture does not necessarily break the bank. The total cost of ownership of quality furniture could be lower than the upfront cost of lousy furniture. Also, it saves you the hassle to replace or to repair a few pieces of faulty furniture. Very often, you do not achieve economies of scale in buy single piece of office chair to replace the faulty one as compared to buying the office chairs in bulk during an office renovation. So why spending unnecessary time and effort in sourcing and bargaining when you could have done it right in the first place?
Always purchase quality furniture that gives at least 2-3 years warranty that can cover your office well over the leasing period. When renovating your office, be sure to purchase quality items in bulk. Bulk purchases on quality furniture give you the best offer the supplier could possibly provide and it will benefit you and your business in the long run. Moreover, you can relocate the furniture in your next office move and use them for many years to come.
We know office operating costs can be irritating, but there are ways to keep them at a minimum. The best time to do it is during an office renovation, where you could adopt digital solutions, go green, get quality furniture and do proper space planning right at the beginning.
If you do not have the operating budget to have your own office space, you can consider co-working spaces. Flexible/ Coworking spaces are good options for you to partake in a community workplace by sharing amenities, while also having your own enclosed area for business operation.