Whether you are starting in business for the first time or are upgrading your office, anytime you view a commercial property, you have ideas pop into your head about how you might deal with the layout? Often many of these initial ideas are practical, however, before committing to anything we should give a methodical consideration to the practical considerations.
Open or Closed Plan?
Open-plan offices have sharply come into focus in the last couple of decades. It is deemed that open-plan office space increases collaboration. It can also make more efficient use of the space; the lack of walls allows more desk space than in a traditional layout. Certain business types would not be suitable for this, anything that deals with highly confidential material or even hazardous substances.
Organize by Department
Do you need a separate space for different departments? One big open plan space works for some companies, but not for all. You may need quiet space for meetings and presentations to avoid disruption of other teams. Some departments need to process information that is confidential to others, such as PR. You may even require certain areas for confidential and restricted data, such as contracts, etc.
We need to look at how we are going to set out the utilities. Do we need systems installed, such as a central air conditioning system or extra water supply, if we are manufacturing? These need to be planned for, both for cost and available space. Even if we are not looking for large-scale physical changes to the building, we need to get the most appropriate deals on energy and utilities. The best electricity and water accounts will vary depending on the volume of use. We also need to anticipate how much bandwidth we require for our internet connection, if we have hundreds of employees the package we need will differ from a small office of a dozen or so.
The rise of open plan office space has come together with the emergence of hot-desking. If we implement a hot desk policy, it means that no employee has an assigned desk. Each employee can log onto a workstation, or you may allow laptop use. This method is useful if you have employees working in shifts, meaning that you can service the same workload with a smaller office. The downside to this is that if physical items are required, then the workers will need to clear away all work and store it until the following workday.
How we decorate is important. It can create a mood and encourage or hold back progress. It also gives any visitors to the office an impression of what type of company you are. Do have art on the walls? If so, what kind? A modern design with abstract art and sculpture might work for a tech firm, but not be suitable for an undertaker. Choose your look by your business needs.