Office space planning 101: How to audit your office space from start to finish
Office space planning involves organising your office furniture and office functions so that they can operate both efficiently and effectively.
Effective office space planning will not only allow you to make the most of your available space, but it will also help you to optimise performance, productivity, morale and your day to day operations. Bringing together core aspects of any business environment, including lighting, storage, team requirements, communication needs and building codes and regulations, office space planning is vital.
Involving an in-depth analysis that looks closely at how a space should be used, office planning also helps businesses to define separate zones, whilst determining where equipment, furniture and hardware should be best placed.
Whether you’re in the process of completing a small office refurbishment, relocating to new premises, or you’re simply looking to improve the layout and efficiency of your office space, we’ve created a guide to getting space planning right.
How do I get space planning right?
Whether you have a designated individual within your business who is responsible for space planning or you enlist the help of an interior designer or architect, there’s a lot more to space planning than meets the eye, especially when it comes to logistics.
It’s far more than making a space look good. It’s about understanding how a space can work aesthetically and functionally, in line with your business needs. In order to do this, thorough planning is required and it’s vital that the person in charge of space planning understands how your business operates.
With this in mind, an in-depth analysis outlining how your space functions is required, including seating plans and how your workforce will move through your office, as well as a map of any windows, doors, and required elements such as furniture, hardware and equipment.
Office space planning: Five principles you need to know
Choosing the right office layout
An office should be functional, comfortable and inviting. After all, an unattractive, messy and unorganised office space is hardly going to inspire your workforce to be productive.
One of the first things you should look at is the layout of your office space, ensuring that the configuration and shape of your office works with your new layout.
In order to keep an office space organised and efficient, storage is essential. With so much paperwork, stationary, filing systems and equipment required in the vast majority of office environments, it’s important that everything has its own dedicated space.
From office cabinets and filing systems, through to desks and shelving space, there’s a whole host of storage options that will keep your office ticking over like clockwork.
Next, you’ll need to consider what you require in terms of IT, as you will need to make sure that there’s allocated space for light sources, electrical outlets and phone points at all workstations. So, map out where your desk space will be and position sockets and outlets accordingly.
When it comes to accommodating the needs of your workers, it’s important that they have a dedicated space to work that is private, comfortable and flexible.
So, when arranging your workstations and office furniture, think about creating different zones and a workflow that complements your day-to-day business operations.
If you’re a growing business, it’s always best to avoid built in desks, in case you need to move your office around in order to accommodate more future staff.
Office Planning FAQs
Is there enough space per employee?
One of the main factors in office planning involves ensuring that there is enough space allocated for each employee, so they can work productively and comfortably.
Your employees will not only need enough desk space, but they will also need plenty of room to push their chair in and out from behind their desk, move around freely, and access the tools and equipment they need to do their job to the best of their ability.
Why do we plan an office?
Efficient office space planning is important in any organisation as it allows you to identify the needs of your business and what you require to meet those needs before installing and preparing your office for your workforce.
It also allows you to ensure you have the right facilities, equipment and IT needed for your business operations.
How much workspace do employees require?
As a general rule, under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, employers must ensure that all employees have a minimum workspace of 40 square feet per person in any office area.
To ensure optimum health and safety, comfort and productivity, it’s important that these measurements are factored into your office plan.
Why is space planning important?
Space planning is extremely important across a diverse range of sectors, and it’s important that it is done right.
All of your office furniture and functions need to work together in order to meet the needs of your employees and visitors. Effective space planning can also pave the way for optimum innovation in the workplace, enhanced client engagement, and increased levels of client retention.
How much does a space planner make?
It’s not a case of one size fits all when it comes to discussing a spacer planner’s salary. The amount a space planner makes per year depends on the business they work for and the scope of the task.
Generally, space planners working in the UK make around £24,000 per annum.
What makes a good office design?
The majority of companies understand that a workspace is more than an area for their employees to do their job effectively. Instead, it’s also an extremely important business tool that reflects who you are as business and how you want to be seen.
With this in mind, your office environment should also reflect your business’s core values, functions and culture. Several components contribute towards a modern office design, including dynamic spaces, effective lighting solutions, comfortable seating areas, leisure and social facilities made available on site, inviting décor and colour tones, as well as bold branding.
Ultimately, a good office design paves the way for increased productivity and of course, if your workforce is happy, they are more likely to remain loyal to your company.