Whether you’re moving into a new office or starting the office redesign process, office space planning is a big part of the process.
How are you going to best use your new space?
Use your space ineffectively and it will cost you in money, time, and productivity. Optimize your office space planning and you’ll be able to do more with less, stay in your space longer, and build a powerful culture more easily.
A little planning goes a long way!
Office Space Planning Pro Tips
Start With a Clear Objective
It’s time to decide what’s most important for your office space to do.
Are you most concerned about cost savings? You’ll want to find ways to get the most people and functionalities into a small space, and some of your furniture should perform multiple functions.
What if you’re aiming for optimal productivity? In that case, ergonomics is a big deal, and you’ll want to strategically group employees so that they’re satisfied with the arrangement.
You can make your office space planning part of a rebranding strategy, use your headquarters to shape company culture, or create an office that helps human resources attract and retain the best talent in your industry.
Before you even set your budget, decide what your space must accomplish.
Be Realistic About Budget
Unless you have a genie backing your project (hint: you don’t) you’re budget isn’t unlimited.
Go ahead and dream big while you’re determining what your space needs to do for you, then figure out how to accomplish that within the budget you can reasonably afford.
Calculate your time costs, too. The longer you take to complete your project, the more it costs in capital and in lost income.
Stick tightly to your budget and do as much research as needed to ensure you can complete the entire project within a reasonable amount of time and investment.
Determine Usage Needs
Part of your space planning includes finding ways to cover all your business needs.
Do you need lots of conference rooms for frequent meetings? Do you have team members who need private space to work on sensitive data?
Consider all of your work functions, storage and filing needs, and the strengths and weaknesses of your current space. Sometimes, taking a closer look at the way you use your existing office can provide lots of insight into your planning needs.
Be sure to make room for all your necessary tech, too. It’s more than just computers on desks.
Make room for people of similar and of different job functions to work together, because those intersections create innovations for your company.
Lots of companies make the mistake of rigid separation, but collaboration tends to work way better.
Cubicles might be appropriate for your culture, or you might find that your team works best in an open and flexible environment. Do what’s right for you.
Incorporate Your Brand
If your brand is only skin deep, it’s not really a brand.
As much as you can, allow your core brand identity to permeate every aspect of design. Health companies might encourage employees to sit on yoga balls instead of chairs, and greeting card companies might include inspirational quotes in wall murals.
The environment in your office space does more than you might think to shape culture.
When you brand the details, your team carries that branding message through to everything they do.
Ergonomics was a buzzword a few years ago, so lots of managers and business owners dismiss it outright today.
The truth about ergonomics is that it’s not that complicated, and you don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on fancy chairs to create an ergonomically friendly workspace.
All you really have to do is answer this question: how are people actually going to use their space?
Remove barriers that cost time and effort, such as putting printers next to the people who actually print things and away from people whose work is exclusively digital.
Planning an ergonomic space may be easier said than done, but it’s worth it.
Plan for Growth
While you’re designing the perfect space for your company now, remember that you’re going to grow and your needs are going to change.
Modular office design makes it easy to grow and change as needed, saving you money and time each time you need an office redesign to accommodate a larger team or busier people.
Identify spaces that might have multiple uses, and don’t buy things like bulky cubicles for individual people if you’re already pushing the limits of your capacity.
Working with a professional office designer is a good idea, too. They can help you find solutions that you’d never think of, and the professionals can often get the job done for less than you’d be able to do it yourself.