At a company grows proper office space planning becomes more important to ensure that employees are happy and productive and that the company is successful. You're going to need more offices, open space, and collaborative space. You want to ensure that employees that work together frequently are in close proximity. Also, the ideal office space plan is one that will allow you to add seats when you need them however keep you from leasing or paying for more space than you need. In Austin Tx office space rental planning is a critical component when evaluating options.
The trend seems to be open office space concepts however just because it works for others does not mean it will work for you. You want to make sure you research what is working for others and what is not. You want a functional space that meets the overall needs of the company and culture. Some office planning experts suggest asking yourself a few key questions:
- What kind of space does each department need to work productively and efficiently?
- How does space effect each person's job function?
- What is the ultimate goal or objective the company wants to obtain with the office space?
Why is it Important to Office Space Plan?
- Your employees will spend just about the same time at the office as anywhere else.
- The office environment is one of the most critical elements to employee job satisfaction.
- Businesses are trying to reduce their cost by properly using their office space by fitting more people into an existing space and having less space go unused.
- A good space plan can increase the flexibility for employees, attract and retain talent, support cultural changes, and enhance productivity & creativity.
- Proper office space layouts promote productivity and collaboration between coworkers which in turn affects your bottom line.
- Poor office space management can make employees less efficient, less effective, and potentially unhappy with their jobs.
Steps in Office Space Planning
- Create a list of departments – Visit each department. Find out what they like, need, and want as well as what they don't like. Create a list of all the departments and how they interact with one another.
- Get a current headcount of all employees – How many employees do you have now?
- Estimate future headcount – When office space planning you need to forecast as best as you can how many employees you will have 12-24 months from now as well as 3-5 years from now. Most office space leases you sign will be 3-5 years so you want to make sure the space will accommodate your current and future needs or that you have expansion options.
- Use – What will each room be used for? You want to ensure that each room serves a purpose and/or function. Office space planners should take notes of needs and wants of each department to ensure the spaces is used 100%
- Layout – Do you need lots of offices or an open layout? The layout should compliment and support the overall use of the space.
- Determine who will be in offices or cubicles – Not every employee will be able to have their own office. Think about which employees need offices and which ones will be seated in the open area
- How many conference rooms – How many conference rooms do you have now? Are they being fully utilized? Based on your current and future headcount projections do you have enough conference rooms?
- Break areas – Do your current employees use the break room? How often and to what capacity?
- Restrooms – Are there efficient restrooms to accommodate your current and future needs?
- Foot Traffic – How many people move through the space each day? Think about your employees, visitors, vendors, etc.
- Employee proximity – Which employees collaborate daily and need to be near each other?
- Equipment proximity – Which employees need to be near the copiers, printers, or other office equipment?
- Appearance – How do you want the space to look and feel to employees and visitors? Does it reflect your company culture?
- Technology – What are the technology needs? Cubicles used to be all hard wired with phone/data lines, however some companies have their employees exclusively use their mobile phones. Think about what technology you will be using now and in the future.
- Allow for growth – Consider the future growth needs of the company as you plan the office.
- Talk to Others – Have you spoken to other organizations about how they implement office space planning? What is working for them and what needs improvement?
- Think outside the box – What else should you be thinking about as your office space plan is developed?