When designing office space, planning comes into play and is the fundamental element of interior design. Your consultant will draw up a plan that defines all the areas in your office and the activities that take place in those spaces. The space plan will determine circulation patterns and how people will move through space. After the plan is sketched out and approved, it will be finished by adding where the hardware, furniture solutions, and equipment will be placed.
When you work on a space plan, there are several points you need to consider. Begin with thinking about how you want the room to look and the main focal points. You might have structural or architectural features to be considered.
- Think about your employees. Do you want an open space? Or do you have employees who will prefer a cozy cubicle?
- If you are designing a large space, subdivide different activity spaces to define each section of the room
- As you create your area, plan furniture with a scale drawing or cut paper shapes to size and place them in the room. This placement method allows you to place and rearrange desks and chairs until you are happy with the arrangement.
Optimize your Office Space Design
Once you know what you want, consider how to plan and design space properly.
How is the space going to be used? There are many different types of places to choose from in an office and these range from meeting spaces to workstations to private offices. Establish the use for space so you can create a functional office that matches the overall needs for your company.
Think about the layout. Office space should be planned to complement and support the use of employees. These considerations are essential to your office floor plan. An actual drawing will show you where everything goes or what office furniture solution will work best.
Once you understand the layout, design or appearance is the next section to consider. How do you want the space to look and feel? You need to consider your company culture and design with that culture in mind. Interior design and furniture solutions are critical factors of the success of your office space. Studies have shown that color in the workspace is a big influencer on employee productivity, moods, and emotions. Lighting is important. Are there windows to design around?
You will need office space for storage and filing. Account for these spaces in your office layout. If you are designing a medical office, filing is critical to the functioning of the business and becomes a primary element in the office space. If you are a legal or insurance business, you need to consider your level of paperwork, the books, and resources you use, and how they interact in your office space.
Consider standardization in your office space planning. If you are designing a large scale office space, you must consider what elements can be utilized and standardized. Should all the cubicles and conferences rooms have the same furniture styles and colors? What elements do you want customers and clients to see when they come into the office?
Key Factors and Office Furniture Solutions
- Detail the wants and needs of your business. Space planners take detailed notes of the requirements of each space in an office. A well-designed office space or office furniture solutions that are workable are vital to the employees. Space always adapts to the needs of workers. Workers need not adapt to the needs of the space. If your company is a collaborative office, think of open spaces to work and meet together. If you create spaces with cubicles in an office that require employees to interact regularly, this may not be the best use of the space.
- What are your equipment and technology requirements? Consider the demands of technology and equipment needs for your office space. You may need to plan for computers on every desk. Space was once prepared with electrical equipment and phone jacks. Now many workers use mobile phones and wireless technology.
- Personalize the space. Consider areas that allow employees to individualize their work environment. How can workers make the space their own? This consideration brings a sense of ownership to the employees. Ownership is critical to loyalty, good feelings, and high productivity. Create a space where employees enjoy working. Studies have shown that nearly 50% of American workers rank their office environment as one of the most important elements of job satisfaction.
- Good space office planning considers the day-to-day operations of an organization. You need to know where the department will be located and how people within each department will interact. If your marketing department needs to be with sales, don’t separate the two departments on opposites sides of the building. Consider the daily operation in advance to ensure a layout that increases productivity and efficiency.
- Work with furniture solutions to divide an office. Every department may need a unique type of space. For example, sales may need cubicles for privacy while IT or design may need to have an open plan. Your space plan needs to work in different spaces into a cohesive whole.
- Make sure there is adequate storage in your office space. Storage and filing is a crucial part of any workflow and needs to play a central role in space planning. Incorporate proper storage in strategic parts of the office space. Consider all storage and filing needs at the beginning of your space planning project. If you don’t plan in storage and filing at the very beginning, or you may end up with not enough space for these crucial elements.
- Keep your employees in the loop when remodeling or moving to a new space. Be enthusiastic about what is happening and share your excitement about the new office space. Ask your employees what they want during the planning. Hold a company meeting to discuss changes and excite everyone for the new space.
- Plan for growth. Companies generally grow out of their space. Think about future needs and how rapid your growth will be. Will you be able to accommodate more employees soon? If so, where will they be placed? Planning in growth will help you keep costs down.
- Stay within your budget, if you can. With office planning and the design process, think about what is appropriate and cost-effective. You can design an office space that is award-winning, but the most important thing for any client is a pleasant office, time and money.
Employees may feel the same. They might think they want to work in an opulent space, but a place that is comfortable, unique and pleasant will be much better.
- Are some of your employees able to work remotely? Cloud computing has given many businesses the opportunity to utilize remote working plans. If your company has a remote working policy, ask your space planner to take into consideration the space utilization ratios. Let them know that even though you have 100 employees, only 70 of them in the office at one time.
Space planning is crucial for a growing office. A well-designed workspace boosts productively and increases the happiness and satisfaction of your employees. Consider utilizing a space planner to give you the professional help you need to use your space. With just a little planning, a lot of creativity, and the direction of an office furniture solution company you can turn your office into an inviting, pleasant place to work.