Think Inside the Box
Traditionally, most people plan the outside of their new building first. Only after that plan is complete do they focus on the space plan for the inside. You may want to consider doing the opposite, and thinking “inside the box” first. Consider this; your staff will be spending most of their time inside the building, not on the outside. The amount of thought you put into planning the inside your offices will determine how productive, happy, healthy, and safe your people will be. So why not take a look at this first.
How to Start
First, you should compile a list of all your staff members and their corresponding job responsibilities. What jobs are exclusive to an individual? Which jobs are shared between people? Do staff members often work in teams?
This information will help you determine whether to centralize your staff into a team area; to set up private offices; or use a combination of both. And, how many offices you will need. For example, admin or middle management staff may be better off in a team area so that sharing and communication will be enhanced, while senior executives may need a private office due to the nature of their work.
Plan to Grow
You always should plan for more space than you actually will need today. Too many companies are short sighted and only plan for their present needs. As your company grows, your staff will need to grow, too. Often, companies fall short on planning enough administrative space. All too soon they outgrow their new space and have to start looking at building again. This costs more money in the long run than building a larger space to begin with.
When you’re planning your office space, look at if from the perspective of a new customer visiting you for the first time. Is it easy to find your office? Do they have a warm and inviting feeling? Is it easy to find your way around once your inside? Overall, would a person feel welcome there? First, your offices need to be centrally located near a major entrance with ample parking. Second, your offices need to be located on a main corridor so they are easily accessible from not only the main entrance, but from anywhere in the building. Finally, well placed directional and office signs are a must so that people can easily navigate through your office space with ease.
Article by Mark Kolakoski, Contract Resources, a unique workplace interiors company that specialized in furnishings and interior space planning for companies of all shapes and sizes. (Permanently closed.)