Office space planning 101

Office space planning 101

Office Space Planning 101

Space planning is an integral part of the architectural and interior design process. Without a well-understood, and then well-planned space, most designs won’t be optimal for the purpose of the space.

When it comes to office spaces, proper planning is crucial to providing the optimal work environments – for employees, managers, and clients. Even in a world where remote work is becoming less and less temporary, the office space is the heart of operations and where employees will be spending much of their time. 

Office space planning is not just about the aesthetics; a well-planned office space creates a sense of comfort, promotes productivity, and efficiently utilizes your and your space’s resources. 

Data-Driven Space OptimizationRead more:

  • How To Optimize Your Office Space Planning?
  • How Well-Designed Offices Affect Company Performance
  • Office Space Planning for a Hybrid Workplace

 

What is office space planning?

The simplest way of describing the purpose of office space planning is to set up the work environment for optimized space usage. However, office space planning encapsulates much more; determining the workplace layout, from the location of the workstations to the furniture, can help circulation, productivity, and workplace wellbeing. 

Office floor plans usually consider a variety of factors, considering the workgroup function, building codes and regulations, lighting, the size of the team, as well as the structural elements of the space.

In a nutshell, a stylish office is great. But well-designed office space is about much more.

Factors to consider when planning an office space

Your office space plan should take into account several important factors. Analyzing the terms and boundaries of the project – such as the budget or the space’s limitations, for example – and comparing them with the company’s needs and goals for how the space will be used can simplify the project and help optimize the end result. 

Before you start the planning process, it is essential to define these factors in the project:

Budget

Proper budget planning is one of the most critical things in the design process. From construction to furniture and unexpected costs along the way, you want to ensure you have full control over the process until it gets to the finish line. Sticking to your budget will be better for your business and allow you to fully realize your plan with minimum hiccups or blocks along the way. 

Capacity

The number of people that can accommodate your space comfortably is your magic number. It is essential to know precisely how many employees you want to work at the space and if the available space is enough. 

That being said, optimized planning can help organize and, in some cases, increase the available capacity of the space. While the square feet available will never change, planning and design can significantly restructure it, maximizing the potential of your space.  

Every business constantly plans and rethinks its growth strategy. Keeping the office space in mind while projecting the company’s growth can help support this strategy and prepare for the future. 

Compliance

The workplace governance standards and safety regulations can dramatically influence the way you plan your office space. Compliance is often confusing, highly detailed, and most of the time out of your control – and therefore is crucial to consider. 

Compliance issues often involve things such as fire exits, power outlets, ventilation, and more.

Learning the OSHA standards and building code ordinances that apply to your business will help you create a safe work environment and finish the planning process faster.

Set up the work environment for optimized space usage

 
Determining the purpose of your office space

After getting acquainted with your budget, the capacity, and compliance requirements in your space, it is time to dive deeper and determine the purpose of the space itself.

The first thing to define is the different zones in the space, depending on its purpose. For example, if the space is your company’s HQ, you might want to designate a client-facing area to support your brand and host partners. If the space occupies company management, you will have to determine how many private offices vs. open space workstations will work best. Finally, office facilities such as meeting rooms, a kitchen or a cafeteria, and lounge areas, can always be changed and adjusted according to your needs.

Asking yourself these types of questions will help you determine the office’s main purpose, making it easier for you to define its specific zones and general structure. 

How to optimize your office space planning?

Fine-tuning the different natural and constructed factors of your space can make a big difference in the utilization of your space. An optimized office space layout plan takes into consideration a variety of factors, such as Daylight, density, privacy, walking distances, acoustics, and beyond.

Maximizing lighting

A well-lit space has an enormous effect on its inhabitants’ mood, concentration, and well-being. Maximizing the amount of light in the room can significantly impact your design. 

Considering the natural light sources of the space and the patterns of daylight during different times of day can help you understand where workstations would be best placed and how much you need to compensate with artificial lighting. 

Depending on each zone in the office and its function, you can opt for overhead lighting, ambient lighting, task lighting, etc. 

Allowing easy circulation

Believe it or not, the ease with which every inhabitant in your space can move from zone to zone within it can immensely affect the productivity of your office. A space cannot be considered fully functional if navigating it isn’t a smooth journey. 

For example, the distance between meeting rooms to workstations will determine the work culture in your space and its comfortability; the size of the cafeteria and its location will affect the experience and well-being of your employees. When planning your office space, considering the density of the office with its structure will help you optimize walking distances and comfortable routes.

Considering accessibility

An office space that is accessible to all sets the tone for your company’s culture as an inclusive, welcoming organization for employees and clients alike. Planning ahead to offer as much freedom and ease of use will help you build this brand and project your company values.

While, in most cases, the building structure determines much of your office accessibility, your office space planning process can consider factors such as the size of the hallways and walking routes, the appliances you use, the height of counters and desks, and much more.

qbiq's advanced flow analysis

Digitizing your office space planning process

With so much at stake when designing your company office, using technology to optimize and accelerate your space planning process can transform your workplace – even before you sign the lease. 

Advanced space planning software allows you to replace the manually drawn lines of an architectural plan with optimized, AI-powered results based on decades of architectural knowledge. Allowing you to visualize every space and envision its full potential before closing a deal. 

Want to hear more about what qbiq can do for your business? Request a demo

Office space planning 101

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