5 Steps for Office Space Planning

Whether you’re planning an office relocation or office expansion, you need a strategy in place for how you approach the transformation. Office space planning is vital to making sure your floor plan is operating efficiently, and you’re promoting a culture in the workplace that you and your employees are happy with. There are plenty of different approaches, but today we’re going to go over five things that are essential to good office space planning.
14 Dec
Studio DB
Workplace strategy

1. Start planning early

When it comes to moving offices, it can be a long process to find the right spot for you and your team. You’ll likely want to compare a number of different locations before committing to one. A 6-month decision period, after a 12-24 hunt period gives you the time you need to begin laying out a framework for what you want to achieve.

For example, when you speak to Studio DB about new office space planning, it’s best to have 12 – 6 months up your sleeve before your targeted move-in date. A talented group of space-planning experts such as our team can quickly translate your current workflow into an optimised format, but the more time you have, the more negotiating leverage you have for lease deals.

When you’re able to course-correct or contrast and compare different plans, you’re ensuring that the office design you end up with is the most productive. After all, once you start planning, inspiration might take you in a completely unexpected direction! This is why project scoping as early as possible is so important – it saves you a significant amount of time and effort in the long run, which should be going toward the operation of your business.

2. Think about necessities

What exactly do you need? Knowing the essentials can really help shape an office space strategy, and give you the groundwork for fun, new ideas. The Agile Office Model helps achieve office space savings, so is a good option in terms of your design method.
Some jumping-off points for considering your core functions are:

  • Do your employees require dedicated workspaces in the new office make-over?
  • Do you need to entertain or host clients often in your spatial design?
  • Are you able to deploy an open floor plan?
  • Do your employees need quiet rooms, breakout spaces, or extra meeting rooms for their type of work?

Essentially, your workspace should reflect what you need, rather than you and your team needing to find ways to work around the limitations of the space. Inversely, if you really don’t need conference rooms, don’t pay for them!

3. Think about the future

Expansion is always on the mind of most company leaders. Picking a space that fits you perfectly has the unfortunate side-effect of leaving you with no space to grow. Looking for spaces slightly larger than you need allows you to invest in an office that you can stay in for a longer period of time, and get more overall value from. This relates back to smart planning around your office relocation project – planning ahead helps the project run as smoothly as possible.
To plan for your expansion, you’d ideally be able to take your current headcount and forecast it by looking at any data you have regarding growth by department. If your business doesn’t hire very often, this may not be an issue for you, but it’s still worth thinking about.

It’s also worth noting that if you overestimate your growth for the coming years, you can find ways to sub-lease unused space in your office. This not only provides a revenue stream, it also often leads to unexpected and valuable networking connections, and new friends!

4. Decide how to handle remote work

As cloud computing continues to grow stronger, many employers are beginning to tackle the concept of remote work. If you do have employees that could realistically work from home, it’s best to have a formal policy in place about it. Figuring out a cost-effective plan can be a rewarding experience. You may discover that implementing a schedule for remote work could reduce how much space you need in your office, and help you mitigate costs.

For instance, if you only need 70 per cent of your staff on-site at any given time, you could look into whether or not your business will benefit from codifying a remote working plan.

In order to accommodate this, other elements of your office may need to become more modular. Having a flexible furniture plan, for example, can help keep your office comfortable even though you have a sliding scale of how full the office could be.

5. Take business-specific concerns into account

Some companies just need things to fit a very specific framework. Larger businesses especially need appropriately sized break rooms, so that they can hold company-wide events. These sorts of considerations are never fixed by a one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s important to identify the areas that will require you to find a unique solution for you and your team. Some further examples of rooms that may fall into this bracket for you include:

  • Rooms for video conferencing
  • Server rooms
  • Role-specific offices
  • Communal printing, copying, or fax rooms
  • Wellbeing rooms

Any one of these things may need to be specifically designed to work for you, and operate in unison with the rest of your layout.

Need help overseeing the project?

If you’re planning an office relocation or upgrade, or require a workplace strategic overview, talk to the experts about your new office space plan. Studio DB has experience taking projects right from the design phase, through to building, and all the way to completion. To find out what we can do for you, and to book a free discovery call, contact Studio DB today!

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