The best way to delete photos from your hard drive is to NOT delete them at all. Best practice -- don't delete photos from Lightroom or from your hard drive.
Deleting photos is an extremely poor practice, without extremely good justifcation, which you haven't provided.
Hey, I appreciate your advice - and can totally understand why I should keep them on my device. The reason I'd like to remove them from my hard drive is simply because I like to use my own laptop for editing images for work - and would really prefer company stuff not taking up space on my personal computer.
I know the best practise in that case would be to put them on an external storage drive, which I don't have, however for now I'd just really like to free up some storage on my laptop.
Here is one idea, assuming you have the original image files somewhere else too.., you can build smart previews (in Lightroom 5+) then delete the laptop copy (using your OS I mean, not Lightroom) without interfering with published status.
Of course, have backups first, and take caution, and try just one at first, and...
To be clear: this is not an "ordained" way to do things, so not recommended unless you are savvy computer/file-wise..