Your Office Space Planning Questions Answered
It’s no secret that your office layout can make or break office productivity. Studies show that workplace design impacts employee performance, engagement and innovation.
In a recent Gensler U.S. Workplace Survey, a nationwide study of 2,035 professionals, researchers found that “only one in four U.S. workers are in optimal workplace environments. The rest are struggling to work effectively, resulting in lost productivity, innovation and worker engagement.” According to Gallup, “employee disengagement in the U.S. is a serious issue that costs U.S. companies $450 billion to $550 billion every year.”
Based upon these statistics alone, it’s clear that space planning entails much more than finding a sunny spot for your potted plants. But you don’t have to hire a costly interior design company to handle your office space planning needs. Instead, look for a commercial realtor or property management company that offers free space planning services as part of your lease agreement. Many have in-house professional designers who will help you determine circulation patterns and provide scaled floor plans for open space, furniture and equipment.
But where do you start? Use these questions to lead your discussion with a commercial space planning professional:
How much space will I need?
Start by asking yourself how many people will be working in your new space – and on what kinds of tasks. Office designers typically plan for anywhere between 150-200 square feet per employee. If you expect to add employees, you’ll want to incorporate some flexibility into your space planning process. To accommodate future growth, it’s smart to add 10% to 20% to the total square footage.
What do I want my office space to communicate about my company?
Your office design and layout says a great deal to internal and external audiences. A functional, efficient and aesthetically pleasing office layout will give your space an identity and help your employees promote and live your brand. Whether you express your brand through use of colors and logos or communicate your brand via furniture, décor and lighting, your office layout and design influence the way the public and your employees view – and experience – your company.
How do I arrange my office for maximum productivity?
If you determine the location of your copier based upon available electrical outlets, you’re probably not giving full consideration to office workflow. It’s well worth taking the time to meet with a design professional to figure out the most efficient and productive layout for your office. A good property management company or commercial landlord will help you tailor your space to fit your needs, not force fit your needs into a predetermined space.
How do I want my employees to work and interact?
Gensler reports that the most effective office layouts allow for employee focus and collaboration. That means providing spaces that allow employees to concentrate on their individual responsibilities, as well as creating meeting spaces that facilitate employee interaction, collaboration and idea generation.
The bottom line is, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all office space. Before you make your next office move or embark on your next office reconfiguration, invest time in thinking about your business goals, employees, and desired office culture. The time you spend can positively impact both employee satisfaction and productivity.
Need help with office planning to better fits your needs?
Take advantage of The Anderson Group’s Smart Office Audit. The Smart Office Audit is a free, expert assessment of your current office environment and future needs, including workflow, space usage, amenities, energy efficiency, leasing costs, and technology requirements. The Anderson Group has helped companies save thousands of dollars a month by making changes to their current office space, as well as recommending what to look for in a new location, if it’s time to move.