Should You Stay or Should You Go? Relocating vs. Renovating

Axis Architecture Blog Post

As a business owner, you’re always looking for new ways to innovate and expand. Your goals for 2018 may even include increased productivity and higher employee retention. But what if your resolution is to breathe new life into your workspace? Here are a few key points to help you decide whether to relocate or renovate.

Growing Pains

Has your business doubled or tripled in size? If you’re feeling a bit cramped, it may be time to move. While relocation is a big decision, having more space can accelerate and re-energize your business. Take Jarden Home Brands, for example. In 2015, they moved from Daleville to Fishers, trading a stark, segregated environment for one that’s colorful, comfortable, and casual. The 45,000-square-foot space brings out the best in Jarden’s people, and incorporates a variety of dynamic spaces to foster collaboration.

Direct Connect Logistix (DCL) is another example. Since its founding nine years ago, the transportation and logistics firm has grown from two employees to 85. With plans to add as many as 90 employees by 2020, DCL needed some new digs. Insert Axis. We helped them revamp 14,000 square feet of space in downtown Indianapolis, which – unlike their last office – gives them room to grow.

But if relocation isn’t a priority, perhaps it’s time to renovate.


Enhancing the Atmosphere

Whether you are a company of five or 500, the space in which you work should reflect your brand, culture, and personality. The most successful spaces support a company’s goals and have a positive influence on the motivation and behavior of employees and visitors. There’s Tangoe, for example. Their quirky office environment has had a dramatic effect on their ability to attract and retain talent; in 2017, the Indianapolis-based company added 115 new employees and 34 new customers.

But Tangoe didn’t become one of the Midwest’s top tech companies overnight. The design of their 60,000-square-foot space – which includes soundproof phone booths, a movie theater, and conference rooms named after Star Wars characters – started with research.

Employee surveys and observations are imperative in the programming phase. Evaluating what works in your current space – and what doesn’t – helps guide the layout of the renovated office, and how color, lighting, and mechanical details can be incorporated.


Timing is Everything

There are a few things to consider before putting a timeline in place. For instance, does your business have a peak season? If so, base your revamp around your busy time – that way, you’ll have less interference on productivity. Renovations can sometimes be distracting for employees, for example, and may require temporary workspaces. As for relocations? Daunting as they may feel at first, they pause productivity for only a day or two.

If you are currently leasing space, take some time to evaluate the building’s strengths and weaknesses. Allow plenty of time for landlord negotiations, too, as your lease terms may influence your decision to stay (or go).

Keep in mind that the popularity of home improvement shows has led to the “HGTV Effect” – the misconception that projects take less time and cost less money than they actually do. A timeline will help keep the project on track, however. And if you’re moving to a new space, a designated supervisor in each department makes the process that much smoother.


Location, Location, Location

If you’re already in a prime spot, consider what you might be giving up if you were to move. On the other hand, relocating might be the perfect opportunity to put yourself front-and-center. Does parking, travel-time, and proximity to nearby amenities matter to your target demographic? Your clients may already associate your brand with your current neighborhood. One way to reinforce your company’s brand? Eye-catching signage – it can make a dramatic first impression.

The right move or makeover can encourage growth, raise brand awareness, and increase employee retention and productivity. If you are interested in analyzing your current space and talking through your options, contact Kathleen Lemaster at 317.264.8162 or at