A Definitive Guide to Office Space Planning (for 2021 and beyond)
As an experienced company in office design and office fit-outs, Meridian Interiors have experience in creating well-designed, well planned and executed offices and workspaces. We have used our expertise to create an all-encompassing guide on how your company can best plan out an office space for functionality, practicality, and flow.
What is office space planning?
Office space planning is a commercial interior design stage where you consider how the workplace can produce the best possible environment for staff and visitors alike. It is an opportunity to analyse how the company is structured, how this correlates with how specific teams work together and how the layout of the office can aid a positive working environment.
At Meridian Interiors, we start this process with a Workplace Evaluation, where we meet with key people from your organisation to set out the project parameters and review your main project objectives.
Benefits of office space planning
What are the benefits of office space planning? Read below to explore the best reasons to plan your office space, and how it can help you get the most out of your workspace.
Getting more from your space
Have your working practices changed, as your company has grown or modernised, but your office is still set up in the same rigid way it always has been? Investing time into creating an office layout plan to establish the best way for staff to interact and collaborate is a benefit of office space planning. It ensures you really think about the different functions, how the staff in those teams work most effectively, remembering there may not be a one size fits all solution and how these functions could make the best use of the available space.
Optimise office space planning and see it as an opportunity to involve employees and encourage collaboration. Such changes to the office layout can be key in creating a workspace that works for everyone. Staff are key to a business’s success and feeling comfortable within a working environment can promote better well-being. And being involved in the office space planning process can help to boost morale.
Creating more space
A badly designed layout may make you feel like you need to relocate to larger premises. Whilst this may be the case, it may simply be a need to redesign the current workplace to create more usable space. This is an option worth exploring, as it is certainly a more economical option to relocating.
Planning for the future
Realigning your office space can also help you plan for the future. This may be to realise that the existing space has room for expansion, or it may be to understand at what point a relocation will be necessary for future years.
How do you plan an office space?
Office planning starts with an evaluation of your existing workspace. Things to consider are:
- What works well?
- What could be improved?
- How do departments, functions and teams work together?
- Evaluate IT infrastructure
- Analyses time spent in each area. Are there areas that need to be decreased or increased in size?
From there, investigate how you want people to behave in the new space and then establish your workplace requirements, to best plan the layout. At this stage, think about concepts like agile working, hot desking, collaborative working and how they may be used to good effect in your office space.
Office spaces are an environment where stakeholders should be productive, creative and well connected, so planning an appropriate space is time well spent.
Once the evaluation has been carried out, you can utilise your findings to start planning your space. This is the fun bit, as you can start designing how you would like it to look and feel, how people should interact with the space and how technology can be embraced to enhance your business’ productivity.
How do you calculate how much office space I need?
A good working environment is not usually achieved by packing in as many workstations as possible into the desk space available, as many factors should be considered when planning your workplace.
Top Tip: You can read more about appropriate desk space in our previous guide: How to Design a Productive Office Environment.
At this stage, involving a professional office planning, design and fit-out company would be beneficial, as they have CAD software, knowledge of modern materials, design concepts and workplace products.
How much office space per person?
Figures that are often used are 100 to 150 square ft per person however, this will depend on the type of work that your employees carry out, along with the type of furniture they will need to carry out their role. Selecting the right office furniture is paramount to making the space work most effectively while creating a comfortable workplace.
What is the best way to layout an office?
Using the knowledge gained in your evaluation stage will enable your office designer to create office layout ideas that will work best for your business.
There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to office design and the most successful layouts are office layouts that focus on creating productive and positive environments for staff.
Providing the following areas within your office layout have proven to be popular choices within a modern working environment:
- Collaborative spaces
- Social areas
- Quiet rooms
- ‘Zoom’ rooms
Top Tip: Read our detailed guide: Must-Have Office Features Employees Will Love.
Office space design
If an office is planned effectively, it will impact favourably on staff well-being and productivity, as well as creating a positive impression for visitors and customers alike.
Office space design utilises space planning practices to create effective layouts, which aid efficient footfall throughout the space, ensures air and light moves effectively within the workplace and enables collaboration between staff, teams and functions.