Getting Started with Planning Your Office Space

The creative space planning and design of your office space can improve productivity, encourage teamwork and collaboration, and increase your company’s bottom line. Well-planned spaces can spark creativity in your employees and even enhance their health and wellness. Spaces that are poorly planned do the opposite in addition to hinder productivity.

office-layout

As someone who may be new to space planning, there are three key ingredients that need to be identified prior to moving forward with any office design project:

Goals - Where do you see your company heading within the next three to five years as far as growth? How many employees do you have now and plan to have over the next several years?

Culture - What is your company culture like now? How do you see it evolving over the next three to five years?

Budget - How much can you spend on this project?

Working with a designer and thinking through these ingredients thoroughly will help identity the direction in which your space planning will go. After you’ve identified them, your space will need to be measured from top to bottom. Once a blank space plan has been created, you can start to plot out work and common and private areas, keeping in mind your goals, company culture, and the environment you wish to create.

Layout

Are there individual offices? Will your employees share workstations? Will cubicle walls separate workspaces? Some things to remember when planning out the layout of your office space:

  • Large rooms with open spaces and shared workstations that don’t have any walls or low walls often foster collaboration.
  • While collaboration in the workplace is great, some employees simply need privacy and minimal noise to be productive. Based on your culture, determine what’s best for your employees.
  • People should be able to move freely throughout your space. There should enough space between furniture for employees to pass.
  • Determine how you can maximize use of natural light in a space. According to research, natural light outweighs any benefits of artificial lights. It has been said to cause fewer headaches in employees and increase their attentiveness. Whenever possible, we always recommend refraining from setting offices up along outer parts of buildings where all the windows are. Instead, move offices toward inner parts and enclose them with glass walls.
  • You’ll want to incorporate nature as much as possible. According to several sources, including one paper on the role of nature in the context of the workplace published by Elsevier Science Publishers: the immediate, nearby natural setting has shown to play an important role in human well being. One way to incorporate nature includes setting up meeting spaces in earthy colors with outdoor elements such as trees and flowers.

Office Furniture

You’ve already determined the amount of workspaces you’ll need as determined in your goals for growth and adding new employees. Now, you need to determine how many conference and / or training spaces you plan to have. Will these spaces be formal or more informal based your company’s culture? Plus, will you have a reception area? How about a lunchroom or café’ area? Now, the purchasing begins.

It’s likely you’ll need:

• Conference room furniture
Reception furniture and perhaps waiting room furniture
• Lunch or Café’ room furniture
• Storage products
• And of course workspace and seating options

When purchasing office furniture, follow the yellow brick road straight to ergonomic office chairs. Ergonomic chairs are better for users’ health. Overall, they are more comfortable and are less likely to cause back pain. HON offers a wide selection of ergonomic office chairs including:

Ignition Series HIWM2 Work Mid Back Management Chair with Arms

ignition-series

Basyx Mid Back Management Chair 

basyx

Nucleus Series HN1 mid-back work chair with adjustable arms

nucleus

Learn more about workplace ergonomics.
➢ Read our office chair buying guide.

You’ll also need to determine if you want to go green and opt for eco-friendly office furniture. There are even more decisions that need to be made such as what color to paint the walls and what kind of flooring to put in. If you need help planning your space that’s located in the Bay Area, contact us. As part of our project design services, we offer space planning and design development services.