Office Design Planning
Designing Your Office Space
Once you and your Tenant Rep Broker have identified a shortlist (and ideally at least 3 office space options) it is always advisable to have your Office Design Company accompany you on the tour - so they can be on-hand to provide guidance & advice about the suitability of each office space option. Inexperienced tenants often forget to bring their Office Designer with them on office space viewings but their experience and insight can add a lot of value to help you decide which office space is going to suit your company best.
The way your business decides to use office design can have a significant impact on your business performance. Getting the office design right will enable you to make a positive statement to both your customers and your employees. With the right office design planning, budgeting and management your business can raise your corporate profile, improve your operational efficiency, grow your customer base, attract & retain staff and give that all-important right first impression to customers. Getting it wrong (or just not thinking about office design at all) can have the opposite effect.
The design and layout of your office space is a vital consideration as a one size fits all approach to office design is not going to be appropriate for every company moving office. Make sure you don't get put off by the existing layout of any office space you tour because your Office Designer and General Contractor will be on hand to transfer the current office space into a working environment that can precisely meet your business needs and finish-out budget.
Your chosen Office Design Company will be the experts for all things office space planning, design and layout related - but here are some items that you should consider before you brief them:
Communication: How do you want your staff to interact with each other? Are there certain employee groupings or department that need to be located together in order to foster teamwork & collaboration?Reception: What first impression are you looking to give any visitors to your office space? Does reception need to be a distinct area or can it be co-located with your main body of staff?Meeting Rooms: How many do you need? What function do they need to satisfy? What equipment (audio-visual, teleconferencing, projectors etc) do they require?Breakout Area(s): Will your staff benefit for having an area where they can hold informal meetings or work in privacy without any interruption from the rest of the office? Storage: What needs to be stored onsite and what can be sent to storage (which is a much more cost-effective and efficient use of office space for those rarely needed items like archived documents & files)? What type and amount of filing cabinets do you need? Is it better for them to be located in a separate storage area or can you incorporate them into your overall office design (perhaps as natural partioning)?Noise: Sales environments are likely to be noisier than, say, an Accounts Department. Would it be sensible for you to have a separate area for your sales/telesales force?IT Equipment: Where is the best place to locate the copiers, printers and fax machines? Who is going to use them most?Management: Which employees require their own office? Which staff members need privacy to conduct any sensitive business?Kitchen: What facilities do you need? Will you be better suited by having a large kitchen area (with the ability for staff to sit and eat) or do you require just a drinks point with a tea/coffee station and a sink?Efficiency: Positioning any kitchen facilities in areas where there's already plumbing will save you money.Health & Safety: The regulations on this are constantly evolving so this is best discussed with your Office Design Company or General Contractor.
Other Top Tips on Office Design:
Go Green! For many companies moving office the option of making the office a more environmentally friendly environment is becoming increasingly important. This doesn't have to be expensive at all - and reducing your carbon footprint needn't mean anything more than ensuring that any new equipment or appliances you purchase have high energy efficiency ratings. You can use energy saving light bulbs and consider the installation of sensors which will turn off the lights when not in use.
SummaryA professionally designed and well planned office can bring so many benefits to all companies that are moving office. Take the time to fully consider the positive impact your business wants from its office space. It is always expensive, and disruptive to productivity, to re-arrange your office space afterwards (especially when you could have had the opportunity of getting your office design right the first time round!).
For more ideas on Office Design refer to the Tenants Guide to Office Design.
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