Every office space redesign begins by defining what your needs and objectives are. Here are key questions to ask, and how to go about answering them before you begin your office space design project:
How much space will I need?
Space is going to be one of the biggest hurdles you will encounter. You will first need to calculate a rough estimate of the number of employees you need to provide space for, and take into the consideration your business style. For instance, an open-office plan is going to have different space considerations compared to an office with enclosures like cubicles.
Personal space, the way your company designates corporate hierarchy and the type of work your employees engage in will also factor into the amount of space you’ll need. For instance, if your employees will be spending a considerable amount of their work days at their desks, you will want to ensure they have a large amount of personal space. However, if your employees mostly conduct field work, space might not be as big of an issue. However, according to Office Finder, you should accommodate approximately 125 to 225 square feet of office space for every employee.
How can I make my space flexible?
Flexible office design has gained steamed in the past few years, and it makes sense. In fact, Fast Company named it one of the top office design trends for 2016. Sharing space can be difficult, especially since so many people value their workspace. And, as more and more people move to cities and rents increase, space is a luxury, requiring managers to get creative.
Consider buying modular office furniture that can move from one room to the other and fit cohesively with the overall design. Stackable components (such as office chairs) are even more pragmatic, save money, and create more space when you need it.
How do I provide privacy when necessary?
As great as open office floorplans are for collaboration and engagement there are equally as many problems with it. Many employees claim that the No. 1 problem with an open office is privacy. It’s important to strike a balance when planning the office space. One way to do this is to make sure you provide enough space in the office for private meeting and focusing as well as for collaboration. Enabling your colleagues to step away from the buzz of the office to focus on a report or meet with others 1 on 1 will enable more productivity and happiness in the office.
What do I want my office space to say about my company?
The design of your space speaks volumes about your office culture. For instance, a company like Facebook has a completely open floor plan. As the largest of its kind in the world, according to the Washington Post, it encourages fluidity and informality, very much like the experience of Facebook itself. Companies of the future need to think about what their company values most, and then incorporate those values into how they want their office to feel and look. Consider your companies culture and what your office space needs to say about that culture.
What kind of employee behavior do I want to encourage?
Your office space should guide peoples behavior while at work. If your company encourages collaboration, having an more open floor plan with small spaces for meetings might make the most sense. Companies that prefer their employees to operate autonomously might opt for enclosed offices to ensure no one is disturbed, then designate large conference rooms for when collaboration does occur.
Is there comfortable places for employees to work, socialize, and relax?
Relaxed employees are happier and more productive. That’s why its important for employees to have a space to unplug and relax every once in awhile. Break rooms and lounge rooms create a ideal option for that comfort space. In many offices they’ve become the norm. These casual spaces are great for eating lunch in and doing fun recreational activities like happy hour. They show employees that when you walk in you can relax and get away from your desk. That’s why it’s so important to avoid putting these spaces on the back burner when designing the right office space.