6 Office Space Planning Tips For Business Leaders To Nail

October 31, 2022

By Workspace Resource

The success of your office hinges on how comfortable you make employees feel in the space they work in, which is why office space design is so important. There is an incentive to do it right since happy employees are more productive.

Because of the unique requirements of each business, it is essential to create a personalized layout that perfectly suits your demands. Planning your office's furniture, decor, and layout is crucial to creating a functional and attractive workplace.

Planning an efficient office space layout is an important step, whether starting from scratch with a brand-new facility or giving your current digs a facelift. A well-planned workplace fosters productivity and employee happiness. In this article, we'll go over some best practices for designing an office space so that you can set the tone for productivity and satisfaction at work.

How To Plan Office Space

Start by listing key spaces. Break rooms, storage, lobbies, meeting rooms, and workstations are just some of the essentials for your space planning checklist. Consider the benefits of establishing shared spaces at work. They're not only practical; they may also boost efficiency and inspiration.

Consider what kind of work setting your staff like. Is it more productive for them to be in a team environment where they can talk to each other? On the other hand, do they do better in smaller teams or when separated from one another? Having both in your workplace layout might be a good idea if their feedback helps you decide. 

It might be beneficial to have an open office space so that staff can collaborate with one another as required. On the other hand, they may appreciate having a quiet space to retreat to when they don't want prying eyes on their every move. People who struggle to concentrate in big groups may benefit significantly from this.

Remember that considering the needs of all people will result in more invested workers. Ensure everyone involved is content with the outcome so they can bring their A-game to work daily.

How To Configure Office Space

Outline where key spaces should go. It's possible that your current layout already determines where everything goes, but if you have some leeway and can decide for yourself, think about the following:

  1. Naturally, the front desk should be situated close to the main door.
  2. Arrange desks along the wall facing the outside, where there will be plenty of natural light.
  3. A single, spacious meeting room flooded with light is a beautiful focal point for any office. It's a great way to wow visitors.
  4. Phone booths and huddle spaces are more practical for business and should be closer to the workplace's center. This facilitates accessibility for personnel and may reduce the need for wiring throughout the facility.
  5. Put the break room in the middle of the office, next to the conference rooms. This facilitates access for workers and may be helpful for things like carting food for catered meetings or returning dishes from meeting rooms to the kitchen.
An empty office space with several workstations waiting for new hire employees.

Think About The Future

Finding an office with the exact amount of space you need may be tricky. You don't want to overpay for space you won't utilize or find yourself in a position where you have to relocate again too soon. When workspace planning, try to incorporate a minimum of 175 square footage into your plans for every employee.

Most CEOs constantly consider how to grow their businesses. When you choose a location that is just right in terms of size, it prevents you from expanding. If you can find an office just a little bit bigger than you need, it's a good investment because you can keep it for a longer time and reap the benefits for a more extended period of time. That's why it's vital to put in the time and effort to plan out every detail of your workplace move in advance.

Estimate your workforce size at the conclusion of your lease term. If you are short on office space or looking into a hybrid office space, hoteling is an option.

On the other hand, if you think your business will not expand as rapidly in the next few years and you'll likely end up with extra office space instead, you can always sublease it. There are many benefits to subleasing as it not only generates income but also introduces you to exciting new people. 

A group of employees sitting around a conference table discussing a new office design.

Include Employees In The Office Design Process

One office space planning tip you may be overlooking is communicating with your staff. Office space optimization requires anticipating and mitigating potential obstacles. The people who come up with ideas tend to be enthusiastic about them, so it's essential to hear the opposite side of the story from individuals who may not share your enthusiasm.

You can find the holes in your office plan and the places it needs the most attention through open and frank communication with your staff. If you don't ask workers about their routines, you can miss the fact that they might benefit from more communal work areas, not standing desks. Be aware of practical solutions, not just trends. Just because another business is trying something with their space doesn't mean you have to, too. 

If the numbers add up in favor of your plans, you can stick to them no matter what but provide your workers with an explanation. Don't walk all over them, and try to be reasonable, too. Facilitate merging your initial strategy with any adjustments made to accommodate staff demands.

Designing how workers utilize the space is just as crucial as office planning and layout. The most well-thought-out office layout in the world won't matter if it isn't conducive to the productivity of the people working there. Maintain a keen awareness of the human factor at all times.

Think About Your Office's Technology Requirements

Your workplace needs internet and preferably fast internet. The cost of internet access may be included in the rent or lease of specific commercial offices. If yours doesn't, you should get an expert to ensure it can handle Wi-Fi speeds and expansion without compromising the network's stability.

Think about the possibility of using different kinds of technology. Perhaps you might be interested in a high-tech security system at your workplace that requires identification cards to enter. There may be certain areas of the building you'd like to designate as highly sensitive and requiring security clearance.

In addition to ensuring the office space is wired for audio and video, you may need noise-canceling systems. The proper technological framework may streamline processes and maintain worker efficiency. 

A color office with stylish furniture.

Think About What The Space Communicates

There's more to an office than simply a desk and a chair. It is the beating heart of a firm, where relationships are formed and office ideas flourish. The office space's look and feel should be professional and engaging since this will convey the company's values to visitors.

An open floor plan and collaborative space call for an office with fewer walls and more floor space. If your business involves legal representation and client privacy is of the utmost importance, you may wish to invest in more solid construction and partitions. This creates a sense of safety and confidentiality. Read more about law firm reception area design ideas here.

A corporation focusing on sales might not do well in an environment favored by creative types. Cultures that aim to be productive should emphasize technological advancements; cultures that aim to foster creativity should encourage employees' right to express themselves freely; and cultures that aim to strike a balance between work and play should reasonably blur the boundaries between the two. Every company has a unique culture that has to be nurtured to achieve its goals of high staff morale and satisfied customers.

Don't Think Of Office Space Planning As One And Done

Workers are more likely to feel invested in the organization if they have continuous opportunities to contribute to its success. The people already on staff have a wealth of expertise and experience that you may use to get the new location ready for business. 

Involve your staff in the design of the new workplace, but don't forget to open the floor to discussions on more functional aspects, too. Inquire what amenities (preferred filing systems or coffee-making facilities) would make the new office more welcoming. This may also include talking about how to incorporate sustainability into the design. 

Set A Budget

Looking at initial prices is a simple way to figure out whether something is affordable. Internet and electricity are relatively straightforward expenses to estimate, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. 

First off, it's rare to stumble onto an ideal office building that already meets all your needs, so you'll likely have to allocate funds toward redesigning the office space before moving in. Large-scale office redesign like laying down new flooring, installing new windows and doors, and knocking down walls may make this a Herculean task. 

Commercial real estate construction costs between $50 - $150 per square foot. On top of all that money, you have to pay a project manager to delegate the job so that you may concentrate on running your company.

You will also need to purchase desks, chairs, and other pieces of equipment to provide a comfortable and functional working environment for your staff. If you have clients coming to your location, even if you're a one-person operation, you don't want to have a bare office. If you don't have enough pieces, your workplace will appear empty and unprofessional; if you have too many, you may spend money on things you don't need.

Then there are the charges you must regularly pay, such as landscaping, utilities, maintenance, trash collection, utilities, mortgage or rent, and a host of other expenses that may rapidly cut into your earnings.

One office space planning guideline to remember: work with a professional office designer and create a detailed budget for your workplace. It requires some forethought and preparation, but it may help you save money in the long term by preventing you from purchasing more office space than you can really afford.

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