AN INTRODUCTION TO OFFICE SPACE PLANNING
Many offices are simply thrown together without any plan or design in mind. This can lead to a space that is not optimal for employee morale and productivity. This lack of forethought has contributed to the rise of office planning.
What is office space planning?
Office space planning involves organizing the layout of an office and its furniture to maximize employee productivity, space utilization and functionality, and to improve the work environment.
THE MAIN BENEFITS OF OFFICE SPACE PLANNING:
There are many different benefits of office space planning, but three really stand out as critical. These three include increasing productivity and organization, keeping employee morale high through workspace designs they love and increasing collaboration. Through these main benefits, office planning can significantly impact the performance of a company in a positive way.
The first and possibly most important benefit of office space planning is increasing productivity. If the office is designed in a way that allows employees to feel more comfortable and energetic, they will be able to do more work efficiently. Also, smart planning can reduce distractions and help the team focus which will greatly increase productivity. In open plan environments, cubicle desks or privacy panels can help employees focus. Something as simple as high-quality office chairs or height adjustable standing desks can make a world of difference for productivity.
Keep employee morale high
While it is important to minimize distractions to increase productivity, it is also very important to keep employee morale high. Of course, company leadership and communication is important to keep up morale, but often overlooked is the actual work environment where employees spend 8 – 10 hours a day. An organized, clean and comfortable environment is more likely to make employees happier and thus more productive. In addition to desk sizes and configurations, storage cabinets and more, finish and style options can help employees feel more at home while they work.
An intentional office space plan can also greatly increase collaboration when office furniture is used to encourage flexible layouts, social spaces and collaborative areas. Companies like Google, Facebook and Pixar are known for their focus on using the physical office space to improve productivity and collaboration. Steve Jobs famously redesigned the office space at Pixar in the late 90’s to bring executives, developers and animators under one roof. This increased collaboration as previously they worked in different buildings which made it harder to facilitate a culture of collaboration. At minimum, businesses should consider separate conference rooms or training spaces with tables designed for collaboration and education.