When leasing office space many companies don't spend enough time on the actual layout of the office. They tend to focus more on the number of offices they need rather than from a standpoint of how their office can make their employees the most happy and productive. Office space planning is more than just stuffing as much furniture and people that you can into a room! Believe it or not your office space layout effects your bottom line so it's important that you spend more time on this.
Best Advice…Hire an Architect or Space Planner
The best tip I have for this is to hire an architect or a good space planner to help you. I recently coordinated a meeting with a law firm client of mine and an architect to do a test fit for a potential office space that we are considering. The architect used a projector to display the floor plan on the wall from which we were able to have a very productive discussion about what rooms should go where and why. The architect had all of the rooms color coded which made it easy to tell whether a room was a conference room or office. If we didn't like the location of a particular room she was able to relocate it with a click of a button. By the end of the hour long meeting we had a very efficient office space layout completed. The next day she emailed us a completed plan and even inserted furniture in all of the rooms!
As you work with an architect think about some of the items below:
- Flow – How easy is it to get from one room to another? Where should the copier go? Are the common areas convenient for all? Which way will the doors open and close? Don't overstuff rooms….ensure plenty of walking and breathing space.
- Efficiency – Make sure to not waste space. Think of ways to use every square foot you are paying for. Give yourself breathing room also.
- Furniture – Where will your furniture go? This is important to determine the placement of electrical and internet outlets
- Storage – Companies will always end up needing storage space so make sure to prepare for it in advance.
- Employee recruitment & retainment – Design your space with your current and future employees in mind. Make it so cool that people WANT to work there and NEVER want to leave.