When you’re just starting out, you may not be able to afford the office of your dreams. When it’s just you, a small office may not be so bad. After all, how much room does one person need? As you continue to grow, you may find that your office’s layout doesn’t work as well as it used to.

Even though an ideal situation would be to pack up and move to a bigger office, some situations may require you to stay where you are for a while. Maybe your lease isn’t up or you just love your current office’s location. Whatever it may be, there are still ways you can maximize your business’ small office layout and make it work for you and your employees.

Take advantage of the cloud

By storing your business’ documents in the cloud, you can give your employees the option to work at home. When files are in the cloud, your employees will be able to access their business files from anywhere they have Internet access – whether they’re at home, at a local coffee shop, or waiting to pick up their kids from school. The cloud won’t solve all of your problems, but it will give you an opportunity to free up some space by reducing the amount of desks you need in your office.

Group desks together

If your office has an open floor plan, you may be tempted to spread everyone’s desks out as much as possible. Not only does this take up a lot of space and make it hard to navigate but the setup can also make your office look cluttered. Instead, try pairing desks together to create groups. This will free up some space, make your office look more organized, and give your employees an opportunity to collaborate with each other.

Embrace the light

Good lighting can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your office. An office with less light often looks smaller and more cramped, while brighter offices tend to look bigger and more open. Take advantage of natural light as well and add additional lighting to areas that need it.

Think vertically

Take advantage of vertical space by using furniture that sits vertically rather than horizontally. Find shelving systems that attach to your walls with studs and screws, or look for taller bookshelves and filing cabinets. Also consider buying desks that have shelving above it for extra storage space. You can also add standing desks to your office if you think it’s something your employees might be interested in.

Use multifunctional equipment

Whenever possible, use multifunctional furniture and equipment. For example, you may be able to find a small bench, ottoman or side table that can double as storage space. Instead of buying a standard desk, you may be able to buy a regular table that allows room for filing cabinets or drawers underneath it.

If you have a smaller office layout, remember that your employees may need room to breathe every once in awhile. Open office plans, tiny cubicles, and offices with no doors can make your employees feel like they don’t have any privacy, and they may need some time alone every once in awhile. If one of your employees disappears for longer than usual, don’t get upset with them when they come back. They probably just wanted to take a walk or went out for a long lunch in order to feel refreshed. Not everyone loves being around people all the time, and it’s important to give your employees space to breathe.