There’s no shortage of practical applications for interior design, but one of the most sought after is unquestionably optimisation of floor space. Feeling constricted by smaller floorplans is common, but thankfully, it’s a well-tread area of office planning. Today, we’re going to run through some tips to help inform you when maximising your floor space.
Where to start with office space strategy
Before we get into the list, it’s necessary to cover the importance of spatial design in the context of an overall office layout. Knowing your floor plans’ end goals is always the first step of optimising it. A company should know what it plans to achieve – whether this is lowered costs, creating extra room for a growing workforce, etc.
It’s also worth noting that altering your office plan to better fit its environment is a huge opportunity to make a number of other efficiency improvements – you may find along the way that it makes more sense to translate your current layout into a modern format – an open agile-office plan, for example. Taking opportunities to modernise your workplace pays off in the long run, as updating the work environment to better serve younger generations entering the workforce is only going to keep growing in importance.
1. Understand your technology requirements
Ever since offices were first designed, they’ve been designed around the technology they host. Keeping your floorplan appropriate for the tech and equipment you utilise requires some foresight – desks no longer need to be structured around telephone jacks, for example. Try to think ahead in order to avoid tethering your layout to technology that might become obsolete within your office’s lifespan.
The easiest way to do this is to talk to your IT department, if you have one. If you are able to fully understand your present and future needs, you’ll be able to implement an office space strategy that you won’t need to completely alter after a year or two.
2. Know your requirements
In a similar vein, knowing what your requirements are outside of technology is a huge step forward for your spatial planning. Having a comprehensive plan will allow your floor space to adapt to you and your staff, not the reverse.
Say, for example, you have a workplace that highly values collaboration – you need to factor in dedicated conversation spaces. If you lack the floor space to have fully independent meeting rooms, it could be worth exploring new concepts, like opening your main floor up by removing walls or cubicles.
3. Know your requirements
It’s easier to imagine the perfect space than it is to actually create it. Reformulating your office layout requires a budget – you need to be able to efficiently bring ideas from the conceptual stage into reality, and knowing what your investment will achieve is a good way to streamline that process.
Note that your budget shouldn’t just cover costs – it should also cover time. Time is – for many – a more valuable resource, and your budget should integrate with a timeline for your project, as the two things are unavoidably linked.
4. Structure according to your day-to-day
How are your departments laid out? How often do they interact with each other? Do two or three departments need to be neighbours, due to their high frequency of collaboration? It’s vital to keep this in mind to avoid completing your changes and realising you’ve made things unnecessarily difficult for a particular team within your staff.