Changing business needs make it challenging to control space and utilise it effectively. Teams change and move frequently, and so do logistical requirements depending on the nature of your business. You might need extra space several times per year or new products may require you to rearrange workflow.
Assess your workspace needs
First, take a long look and assess what works and what doesn’t. This doesn’t need to be one sided. Take a quick snapshot and ask your colleagues what they think. Is there anything they would change or something they require that they don’t currently have access to? Remember, you are trying to implement the very best changes for everyone. This means checking in with those who work there.
Is the workspace cluttered and dark? Are desks and storage space cramped? What does the space feel like in terms of its atmosphere? Our surroundings can affect productivity, so take this into account when assessing needs for your office space.
Consider noise control and sound privacy
There are many ways in which you can sub-divide a space for privacy. Doing this can also create extra room for the creation of ‘neighbourhoods’ for specific groups to be located. Think about installing sound absorbing panels if noise is an issue in an open plan office space. They can decrease echo and create a calmer atmosphere; especially in larger areas where noise can travel, allowing for a better workplace experience.
Solve visual and personal security concerns.
With collaboration being a key element within the future of office design, we need to ask, how open is too open? Where can we draw the line when it comes to open space and having a quiet, private conversation? Visual security is also a concern when working on sensitive information. Thankfully, there are alternatives to the original open office which facilitate increasing workable space.
The following will help with visual security:
- Use stylish and colourful partitions that can add sections while fostering collaboration. Again, this can assist with noise reduction and create spaces for teamwork.
- Consider the office layout and plan for specific areas which will see less traffic. This can be a dedicated area for taking a call, having some downtime or for private conversations.
- Throughout the office, look at furniture positioning and reorient as necessary to optimise privacy. Simply moving around a space can fix security issues rather than spending money that may not be needed.
- Strategically position plants, soft furnishings and even hanging partitions to enhance security.
Plan for seamless, agile, connectivity and collaboration
In office design, there will always be a need for a culture of collaboration. This means incorporating designs that can support and transform your business to increase productivity, innovation and performance. To help in shaping this type of workplace, think about using tables and desks that facilitate innovation and connection. This means decluttering as much as possible. Get rid of anything that’s not required. There will be a delicate balance between allowing for privacy and team working. Agile spaces can help you in doing this, especially if square footage is at a premium. To do this, you can use moveable partitions and furniture on castors. This will help you create an agile space that can be adapted as required.
Consider storage requirements
Invest in furniture with built-in space to help with storage solutions. This means that the space will be utilised at much as possible, leaving extra room for collaboration and most importantly, the people you work with. Even though we now live in a paperless office environment (or mostly), we still need space for storage or equipment. Luckily, wi-fi means less wires. So too do laptops and tablets. What would have been used for bulkier computers, we can now use space as we need it.
Warehouse and industrial space
If re-designing a warehouse or a larger industrial space, consider use of all space. Think vertical. Adding mezzanine flooring can help to create additional space. With this smart use of space, you can add extra storage area, breakout rooms, meeting rooms or kitchen space if required.
To conclude, even if you don’t have a lot of physical space to play around with, if you are smart with planning, natural light, storage and the furniture you choose, you can create a space that would make any employee happy to come to work. Space planning within your existing space can be a positive alternative to the expense and disruption of relocating altogether, but remember to plan for the future too.
If you’re considering how to re-work your space for 2021 and beyond, we have loads of experience and advice to offer. You know where we are, so just reach out. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01933 460422