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How the new digital era is driving office rationalisation

As the global economy continues to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, companies everywhere have taken tough decisions to protect their business from the financial burden that many of us have seen. Organisations have had to adapt to new ways of working, catapulting digital transformation and accelerating innovation by years in just a few months.

At the height of the pandemic, 46.6% of the UAE workforce transitioned into home working, switching face-to-face meetings for virtual ones, and relying on secure technologies to enable remote workers to continue their jobs. As many of the restrictions have been lifted, many organisations are now reviewing ways of future working, creating flexible working policies to provide a better work-life balance with employees given the choice to work half their week at home.

Many organisations are also reviewing their property portfolio, reviewing leases, and closing buildings or floors as they are no longer needed.

The cost of prime real estate is extremely expensive and there are some enormous savings that companies can make. It is estimated that the cost per square foot for commercial property in Dubai can go up to a whopping £110 per annum. To put this figure into perspective this means that the average office size in Dubai is 35,000 square feet, resulting in an annual occupancy costs as much as £3.85 million. That’s a lot of money for what could be wasted space, or space that is underutilised!

In a pre-agile office (pre-Covid), we generally assume that each employee would have 2lm (linear metre) of storage. Whilst this can vary dramatically from organisation to organisation, this is the benchmark used. This would mean that in an office of 100 employees, there would be a requirement for 67 filing cabinets (3 high 1000mm x 500mm) taking up approximately 80m2 of floor space (each cabinet takes up 1.2m2 including an allowance to enable access).

Property strategies usually mean that companies are moving into smaller premises or closing them completely, which leave a challenge in where to move these records that need to legally be stored for a set period. Transitioning your company records off site with a certified Records and Information Management partner will rectify your challenges, and is how Crown have been supporting customers over the last 6-9 months.

Our Head of Digital Services, Matt Read, says: “We have been helping many organisations across the UK and Ireland securely move business records so that their offices or floors can either be closed or merged as part of our client’s property rationalisation programmes. Our teams have been very busy digitising important business records and making them available to end users in seconds, providing further benefits, such as improved customer services or a reduced time in searching for records.’’

Matt goes on to say: “The financial savings secured from these programmes have been enormous, providing a very quick return of investment. In cases whereby buildings, such as hospitals will always remain open, we have helped clear space previously used for housing medical records so that they can be used for extra beds or consulting areas’’

It is certain as we continue to recover from what has been very unprecedented times, that companies will continue to look at ways to save money and improve ways of working in this new digital era.

To find out how Crown Records Management can help support you in digitising or storing records, click here, or, if you are interested in how Crown Workspace can support you in moving office, click here.

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