What to consider when planning an office space?

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If you are moving office or refurbishing your premises and are ready to transform your workplace into a functional environment with a potential for business transformation, continue reading this article. We will look into best practices of office space planning which have the potential to change the way your business processes work.

What is office space planning?

Whether you are facing a full refurbishment or a total physical relocation of your office, you can use that moment as a building block for a potential transformation of your entire business. Office space planning is much more than making sure that people, furniture and technology all fit into a single space and look pretty. While even a few well-placed office pods can make a huge difference to people’s wellbeing, you can follow the main principles of office space planning to create an atmosphere where everyone is able to focus. By creating a space that works specifically for your business and for your people, the effective environment can start playing a role in driving your performance. Office space planning is one of the main tools to help your people, space and technology work better together.

Why should you plan out your office space?

A workplace doesn’t just need to look good: it needs to work for everyone in it. Here are the main benefits of planning out an office space:

  • Helps to create synergy between people, space and technology

  • Enhances communication within the teams and across them

  • Provides effective work spaces for all team members

  • Saves floor space and long-term maintenance costs

Of course, there is no one and correct way to plan out an office. The design needs to spring from the needs of your teams and from the goals of your business. Luckily, in addition to choosing where to place your privacy pods and where to put that office phone booth, there are some key principles to follow when planning your office space.

5 core principles for effective office space planning

When planning some major changes to your work environment or when considering an office move, look into these principles to help you enhance your current business operations and the workflow within your company.

  1. Define your needs!

Assess how your teams communicate and if needed, carry out a workplace survey to find out what works for people and what needs changing. Think how you would like your employees to feel in the new space, how you would like them to think and to solve problems. And then don’t forget to ask them. This is a first step towards improving employee wellbeing and enhancing productivity.

  1. Put your people first

We all want to work in a place that looks and feels nice. Not only does putting your employees’ needs first help to keep the best people around and to attract top talent, it also makes an impression on your visitors and clients who make a lot of decisions based on the quality of the workplace they have seen. Include your employees in the planning process. This makes everyone feel more involved and through that, more productive.

  1. Design your workplace to match your business strategy

Use workplace design as a strategic partner in reaching your goals. For example, you can design an office to encourage creativity or to support rapid growth. Or both! If the operating model of your business sees a lot cooperation between teams which then needs to get “disrupted” by private deep focus sessions, consider designing an office with privacy pods mixed into open areas to support that model.

  1. Support your team through change

Notice the different emotions brought on by the change. Some people might feel separation anxiety from their previous work mates or feel unease just by the change of scenery. The quicker everyone’s fears are dealt with, the sooner the team can start feeling the benefits brought on my the change in space and atmosphere.

  1. Choose your balance between closed and open spaces

Open plan or private? Cubicles, team enclosures or half partitions? There are many options to consider when searching for that balance between efficient workflow, supervision and communication. If you want to attract talented people and keep the future re-designing costs down, make sure to add some privacy pods or an office phone booth to your design today, so the deep concentration work can always get done in a silent space.

Finding a solution for you

A well-designed space helps people to get fully engaged and becomes a partner to support your business goals. Getting to know what your people want out of their workplace can just be the strongest and most important knowledge to gain. Whether it is a phone box or an office booth, a relaxed lounge where people can rest their minds or smart meeting rooms that create a functional space for collaboration, knowing what your people need to focus will help you design a space that is attractive, supportive and most importantly, able to accommodate different working styles under the same roof. And that’s where the magic comes from!