Given how the economy has suffered over the last several years, it has become more important than ever to run an efficient and cost-effective office. Even now that there are some signs of recovery, that is no reason to forget about saving money. There is no point in being wasteful, and any money you do save will go directly into your profits.
One of the big costs of running an office is keeping it lit and heated – or air-conditioned in the summer. However, many offices aren’t efficient with either of these – for example, there is absolutely no reason to keep the office at 72 degrees all year round. If the thermostat is set a couple of degrees cooler in the winter, and a couple of degrees warmer in the summer, then no one will be any the wiser. However, you’ll end up significantly reducing your energy costs.
There is even less reason to keep your office bright and at a perfect temperature when no one is there. Make sure that the thermostats are on timers, and install motion detectors that turn lights on when people come into a room. Even when people are in the office, you can still save on lighting by using energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent ones. Also replace any halogen spotlights that you may have – for example in your reception area – with less power-hungry LED ones. In fact, moving to compact fluorescent and LED lighting can save 70% on energy, while still giving you all the light that you need.
Office supplies can also be expensive, especially if your staff are running down to the local stationery store all the time to buy small amounts of supplies out of the petty cash. Try to buy supplies in bulk in order to get better discounts – you may pay a fair amount upfront, but you will save money in the long run. Also take a look at what prices you can get online, as this can be considerably cheaper than purchasing supplies locally. For instance, if you do large numbers of mailings out to prospective clients, then think about buying laser and inkjet labels on the web.
Next, remember to switch off all the large office equipment such as copiers and printers before you go home at night. It used to be that these took a long time to warm up in the morning, so people left them on, but now they start quickly thanks to advances in design. There is no excuse anymore for leaving them running overnight and draining money right out of your pockets.
Finally, if your business is doing well, you may be thinking you need larger premises. Before you make an expensive move, ask yourself how many people really need to be in the office all of the time. Instead of giving everyone a dedicated place to work, you could institute hot desking, where people book a desk when they need it. Not only will this save you the cost of the move, it will also save you the ongoing lease costs of larger premises.