Office planning is a method to design and organize your office layout effectively. When done well, office planning can improve workflow, increase employee communication and enhance your overall work environment.
Invest in Your Office Planning
Whether you are updating your office layout, organizing an office relocation or setting up an office space for the first time, embarking on an office planning project can seem like a daunting task. Without a doubt, office planning can be challenging. However, the benefits of creating a well-planned office layout will far outweigh the problems that can be caused by not doing so.
In fact, the design and layout of your workspace can influence productivity by up to 20%. With stakes that high, it’s worth investing time and effort in your office planning.
Outline Your Office Planning Objectives
Before you get into different types of office styles, or you are swayed by the latest office design trends, you should establish your objectives:
- Reduce operation costs
- Encourage more employee interaction
- Stimulate creativity
- Enhance productivity
- Support cultural change
- Reduce environmental impact
- Promote employee wellbeing
- Attract and retain staff
- Support growth
Good office planning is all about problem-solving. Take some time to identify what your objectives are.
Determine Your Functional Needs
The next step is to determine what the functional needs of your office are. An office function can be a task or group of tasks performed by a department, team or individual. For example, reception is a type of office support function. Your reception may involve one person or a small team, and it has specific needs to be effective. What are these? Usually, the reception needs to be near the entrance of the floor or level, so that staff can greet customers. The reception may need to have access to a printer or photocopier. Mapping this out will help you determine how much space you need around the reception, and where your electrical sockets need to be placed.
Create Rooms For Various Meeting Types
Another example of an office function is meetings. What kind of meetings occur in your office? Are they one-on-one meetings, large meetings or both? Do they involve clients or consultants too? These are the types of questions you will want to ask yourself, as well as those you work with, in order to define your office planning needs.
Plan For Employee Growth
In addition, you will want to look at the number of employees and the projected growth. Will you have space for everyone? Do people eat lunch at the office, and is there space for everyone to eat at the same time, or could you solve it by employees eating in shifts? What about the kitchen facilities?
Create a prioritized list of the needs for each of your office functions and include that list in your project plan. This will help you to choose the right office layout for your needs and to create a budget for your project.
Create a Budget
Once you have outlined your objectives and determined what your functional needs are, you need to create a budget for your office design. Important considerations when creating an office planning budget are:
- What is the scale of the project?
- Do you need to hire a professional office planner?
- Will you need to purchase new furniture?
- Does your project require an office move?
Don’t forget to consider if there will be a time period when your company will need to pay for both the new office space as well as your current office space. These are commonly overlooked expenses that can add additional costs in your budget.
Finally, have fun! An office planning project is fun. It can revitalize a company’s moral and improve your work environment. Involve your employees in the process. Search for office ideas online for inspiration. Create several different floor plan options and let your employees vote for the one they like best. And when your office design is complete, celebrate your success.
Want More Office Inspiration?
Explore office floor plans and design ideas, from spacious commercial offices to cozy home offices.