Office Space Planning
Office space planning can be a complex project regardless of the size of the space that you have to work with, and meeting all of your goals for the area is critical. The office design you choose will depend on the type of floor plan that will work best for your business functions, and moving into a new office can be an excellent time to start fresh.
An Office Space Planning Guide
For companies looking to move into a new office space, you’ll want to do some office space planning, so the office layout meets your requirements and also provides the comfort your employees need. What this combination of features looks like will vary significantly from one office space to another, but our office planning guide can help you get started.
Identifying Your Space
If you have identified a new office space that you will be moving into, then you can immediately start to take measurements and create a general layout of the office. If you haven’t yet found office space, then it’s a good time to make a list of what you need in an office space and what items would be nice to have.
It’s also critical to think of factors like:
- Total square footage required
- The location of the office space and where you do business
- Accessibility to parking, food, and highways
- What floor of the building the office space is on
- Is there room for expansion?
- Total cost per square foot provided for in the budget
This list will help you get started when looking for office space, but depending on the needs of your company, there can be many more items to consider carefully. Some businesses will need to have multiple offices or renovate office spaces to suit the needs of their employees.
Not all office buildings feature structures with high-quality standards, and this is also something to inquire about when considering renovation costs and how you can expand the space in the future. Accessibility is another concern that deserves careful thought as many offices will be required to have certain features that are ADA compliant or follow local laws.
You’ll also want to note what floor your office space is on and whether there are amenities like an elevator, air conditioning, windows that open, and other details that can change the comfort level of the office. If you plan to have cubicles in your space, you’ll want to account for the square footage that they take up and account for the additional cost of furniture to fill them.
You’ll also want to note accessories that the office will need, including window dressings, plants, seating areas, kitchen items, and other technology-related accessories. Little details like cables and plugs are easily implemented during a renovation but may be costly to add after the construction is complete.
Creating a List of Requirements
Office space planning works best when you have a well-organized list of things that are needed and luxury items that are not required. It’s often difficult to get office space that has absolutely everything on your list, so prioritizing these items can help you save time and stay on track.
This list of requirements is a document intended for sharing with everyone who is working with you on the new office layout. If you have a simple way to prioritize and order these items, then it’s best to do so early on in the process. Different kinds of software are available that can efficiently help you complete this task, and it can often save lots of time and confusion later on in the process.
The better your list of requirements, the more likely you are to save on real estate and office space costs as you build, search, or design. You can decide at the start of this process if you want a traditional office layout or an open office design, and there is software that can help you visualize both of these options.
Planning for the Future
Companies tend to grow over time, and you must know about how long you can stay in your new office space, given your business’s current rate of growth. Spending only a few years in an office is acceptable for some organizations. Still, other companies buy an office building with the intent to stay there as long as possible and build on to the existing structure as needed.
Keep in mind that there are costs associated with moving to a new office and different costs associated with building onto an existing structure. Your company can weigh both options and budget for the one that works best, but having a reliable timeline and future goals can be immensely helpful.
You may also want to use a space calculator of some kind, or consider standard room dimensions to see how many cubicles or meeting rooms you can fit into a given space. There are 3D planning tools for offices that can help create a visual for your team to review, and this can help speed along the process of planning your new location.
Some software intended for facilities management can also help you master scheduling issues with a new space in addition to more planning and potential maintenance schedules that your company will need to track.
Many companies are also employing an increasing number of remote workers while other companies have switched to flexible workspaces to save money and create a more favorable environment for their employees. Many companies also account for a more massive employee lounge so that individuals can eat lunch, relax, and decompress when they have free time.
Creating a List of Goals
When it’s time to make a list of company goals, it may be best to let your employees assist you as they are the ones that have to spend the most time in the office. By prioritizing the variety of responses that you get, you can ultimately keep more of your employees, attract new talent, and empower individuals within your organization to help with the process.
Office space planning can often take several months, and if collaboration is a vital part of how your company works, it helps to make that part of the office design process as well.
In a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, data suggested that when employees have choices in their working environments, their experience improves, and this can help boost morale and lower turnover.
Using software to aid in the office space planning and office move process is likely going to be critical to your success, and it can also help track the amount of space assigned to each department and employee.
You can often use this type of software to track different elements for cost savings and find new ways to seat employees for space savings or an improved environment.
Software companies like SmartDraw or Office Space are examples of companies that offer software for this type of purpose, and they can often be used online or downloaded onto your computer. Some of this software doesn’t require professional skill or a lengthy amount of time to learn, which makes it perfect for time-conscious individuals.
There are many innovative ways to set up your new office space. Still, you’ll want to see what your current employees favor and compare those results to what the company can adequately afford and manage to make a reality. Adding elements of fun and relaxation to your workspace can also help attract new talent and boost overall productivity.
Open offices are very trendy right now, but it’s essential to assess your company’s needs and ensure full compliance with any applicable government standards. Each type of office layout has its pros and cons, and you may find yourself making adjustments during any part of the implementation process.
You also don’t want to be at 100% capacity in your new office, so it’s a good idea to plan on having extra space when you first move.