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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.

Increase productivity

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.



Increase collaboration

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.



THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE AN OFFICE SPACE REDESIGN

When starting out with an office redesign, there are several things that you should keep in mind. You should think about how the space will be used and how to make the space both flexible and functional. Finally, it is important to consider what sort of look and feel you want in the office space.


How will the office space be used?

Will the space be a collaborative area or private office? Will it be used for meetings? Do you want it to be a flexible space that can be used in many different ways? The office chairs, tables and storage will likely drastically differ based on the usage of the space.

How can I make the space flexible and functional?

If you follow this first step, then you already have a functional layout for the room. However, a truly effective office manager needs to design spaces that are both flexible and functional. This can be as simple as getting furniture that can be easily moved around and rearranged. For example, a large open plan workspace may need to be rearranged for a presentation or a company meeting.

What look and feel do I want in the space?

This is a very important part of effective office space playing, but it is often overlooked. The look and feel of a space can greatly impact the productivity of the employees at work in that area. Also, it is imperative to keep a company's brand in mind when designing the look and feel of a certain space. For example, a startup with a lot of young employees may want an open plan workspace because this is common among this type of company. However, a prestigious financial planning business will likely have a drastically different office layout and brand.

WHAT FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN FURNITURE FOR YOUR OFFICE SPACE:

Great design

Design is paramount. Not only for the aesthetic pleasure, but well-designed furniture is comfortable and useful. Look at office chairs, desk, tables, etc. as productivity tools for your employees. Do you want tools that are designed to maximize productivity and morale?

Quality & durability

As important as the design of the furniture is, getting high-quality, durable furniture is even more imperative. Office furniture is a significant investment for the company. It may be the biggest purchase for an office manager. With this purchase comes the responsibility of buying something that is built to last. For professional use, make sure you purchase office furniture that meets ANSI/BIFMA commercial quality standards. These products are designed for all day, everyday use.

Storage solutions

Storage is often overlooked. But an organized office needs great storage options. How many cabinets, file drawers or even wardrobe towers are needed? A lack of storage lends itself to an unorganized and unkempt office environment, which decreases employee productivity and morale.

Furniture collections

As previously mentioned, it is important that a space expresses the company's overall brand. One way to do this is to choose furniture from a collection that will maintain a consistent image throughout the office. For example, our Studio C Collection will express a company's stylish branding. This leaves a better impression upon clients and customers and even employees than a hodgepodge of different furniture and styles from different brands.

Good Warranty

As the office furniture is a significant expense for the company, this investment should be protected. This is why getting furniture that has a good warranty is absolutely vital. The 400 Series Collection is another good example of a furniture collection that comes with an excellent limited lifetime warranty.

 

GETTING STARTED

We offer a free space planning service at Bush Business Furniture. Our space planning experts can help you choose what is right for you and design the perfect office layout. The best part about Bush Business Furniture space planning is it’s completely free and unlimited, and we’ll provide you with 2D and 3D layouts of your actual office spaces, along with complete product recommendations – all within just two business days.

Posted 10/29/19