What are the most important things to consider when designing an office space?
So perhaps you have moved your office and you have a blank canvas, or you fancy a reshuffle of your current layout to better maximise space, when it comes to office design and refurbishment, there are a few key factors to consider before you talk to your Design Team.
1. Rethink your space
Its time to get creative and think outside the box! But start with the practicalities. What is the total square footage available to you? Look at the ceiling height, could you accommodate a mezzanine level for additional storage or meeting rooms? Could you take down partitioning or perhaps remove a corridor or welcome area/foyer if they aren’t being used?
2. Define the areas needed for the various activities
What is working now, what did the office have before that you do or do not need? Do you need an area to welcome guests or showcase products? Do you need an open plan space or individual offices or partitioned areas? Do you need meeting rooms and if so, how many and what size? What about storage, a room for the server and IT equipment and other facilities such as a kitchen and WC’s.
3. Space planning for NOW
The general guidance for the average square footage per person in an office is 150 sq feet – it is basically the space needed for any individual to work comfortably. Obviously this can be increased if space allows. For each person or room, consider desk size, storage, data cabling, electricity sockets and space for walkways and stairways.
4. Space planning for the future
It’s great that you have everything you need for the present time, but what are your options for if (or rather when!) your company grows? How many additional people/workstations could you accommodate? How about storage and power supply – could it cope? And of course parking is always a huge consideration too! Flexibility is key here. Do you have the flexibility to re-define spaces?
5. Think about your employees
A healthy and enjoyable working environment = a happy and motivated team. That’s the theory anyway! The positive impact of good office design in terms of enhancing employee wellbeing is well documented. Consider lighting, personal space, areas for privacy v’s team building, areas for lunch and relaxation and also greenery. And then very importantly there are the health benefits for the workforce associated with installing ergonomic office furniture such as posture chairs and sit-stand desks/meeting tables.
6. Don’t forget about storage
There may be a ‘think before you print’ and a ‘clear desk’ policy, but there will probably always be paper of some sort needing a home… marketing brochures, headed notepaper, envelopes, as well as cleaning equipment, IT equipment and somewhere for employees to store personal belongings if necessary. Desk pedestals, filing cabinets, a storage wall, or central stationery source all need to be considered as part of your space planning.
7. An office space to reflect your company culture
Ultimately any office design should provide a reflection of your corporate values and convey your brand identity appropriately. You may wish to incorporate your brand colours in the paint or a wall canvas, or perhaps in the carpet or furniture. If you believe in a non-hierarchical structure or “open door” policy then an open plan space would work well. Perhaps you like to incentivise your team by allowing them a level of freedom within office time, in which case a games room or “chill-out” area may be something you would like to introduce. Your office design should make a statement about your brand values and points of differentiation as a company.
Applying these golden rules of office design and refurbishment, along with commissioning a space plan and 3D visuals, should ensure all eventualities are covered before any work gets started. As well as ensuring that you have a solution that will meet your long-term needs.
Have you recently re-designed your office space? Do you have any top tips to add to ours? If so we would love to hear them! For all your office refurbishment and design needs, give Apollo Commercial Interiors a call.