Planning for the correct amount of storage
Understand what you are storing, why you are storing it and make sure it’s not just a catch all place for all the indecision’s your staff make. Storage is too often used to conceal clutter. Effective storage creates efficiencies while creating an environment that is both esthetically appealing and practical. Different storage solutions can provide time saving functionality that boosts productivity and frees up space for other office uses.
Getting employee input
The right office design will help make your business run better.
Involve employees in deciding how the space will look and feel. Employees often have insights into what an operation needs and may have that wasn’t obvious before but may prove valuable. Their involvement in decision-making gives them a voice in something meaningful which increases engagement and improves performance.
Talk to your employees and ask how the old space has worked. Which features have been good or bad, and why do they feel that way? Don’t assume the old layout is necessarily the best to help drive business. Also consider letting employees name common areas such as conference rooms. That way, they can put their stamp on the space.
If you have the time and resources, consider setting up some common work areas, each decorated in one of the color schemes most popular among employees. They can then try the different settings to see how they feel about them.
Besides giving employees a voice in the new office’s aesthetics, encourage them to discuss practicalities, too. Ask for a wish list of items for the new space, such as a coffee bar or certain type of storage, which could help make work a better place to be.
Plan for growth
It’s hard to know the future. Often, we are planning to grow, but just how much, how many more staff and what’s the time frame.
When you’re designing your office with growth in mind, it’s important to look at ways in which space can be reconfigured to accommodate differing team sizes.
It’s crucial to incorporate adaptable, flexible spaces into your present office design. These spaces can be used for ad-hoc meetings or general relaxation areas for existing staff but can also be re purposed as more formal workspace when necessary or for events and presentations.
Think carefully about your office furniture too. Once you have invested all your money in your latest technology or spent a fortune on the best talent, it might be tempting to skimp on the furniture budget.
Not enough open and/or private spaces
One of the most significant decisions in developing a company’s culture relates to the division of office space. Open space, division into offices, team-based division, mixed offices, a small or a big kitchen – each one of these decisions will affect the way the company functions.
In theory, an open space office sounds like a great idea – an open atmosphere, accessibility for everyone and, of course, an optimal utilization of space. Most open spaces are usually quite noisy and are not that conducive to actual discussions. Many people are easily distracted by every phone call, joke or noise around them.
New open concept designs are often filled with hard surfaces like polished concrete, open ceilings and lots of glass, that give a wonderful open feeling to spaces. But there is downside – increased noise levels.
When noise enters the workspace, creativity and productivity go out the window. That’s why manufactures of office furniture have thrown themselves into designing elements that limit and absorb excessive noise, creating pleasant workspaces that improve performance. The trend for open-plan designs, particularly in new workspaces, has put sound at the forefront of design.
D.J. McGauley & Associates Inc. is your Office Space Planning, Renovations and Relocation Project Management Company of Choice for the Toronto, GTA and surrounding areas. If a renovation or relocation of your 2,000 – 25,000 sq.ft. office space is in your plans, contact us to arrange a no-obligation site meeting. We guarantee that by the end of that meeting, you will know all that would be required to make your office renovation/relocation project a successful reality.
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