Whether you own or lease your office space, the reality is you are paying for it by the square foot. Whether you are buying residential or office space the standard for actual cost of a space is price per square foot. If you can figure out how to get the same amount of office space in less square feet, your costs are going to be lower. Or, maybe you are considering moving because your business is growing and you need more space. What if you already have all the space you need, it just needs to be optimized?
Optimization is what turns good businesses into great ones and what keeps great businesses going strong. Optimization means getting more done with either less or the same amount of resources and in any business that is a good thing. In this article we will talk about a few things you can do to optimize your office space design.
Start designing your office around the work flow. For example, the people who get the most mail should be closest to the receiving department and step 2 should be next to step 3 in your process. Minimizing the distance that work and people need to travel can save time and frustration. If you have teams that work together on projects it can be helpful for them to sit near each other to facilitate easy impromptu conversations and teamwork.
The next step is to be realistic about how much meeting space you need. How often is that conference room used at the end of the hall? Could that become a few offices, or shared team work space? How about the office kitchen or break room? Could that also become shared space, or could it be better utilized for meetings, team building and break times? Also, think through all the storage space you have in your office. Are you paying for square feet to store things that really don’t need to be there? Consider have documents stored electronically, selling obsolete equipment and removing empty cabinets. Remember you are paying for that space those things are taking up, so figure out how to make it work for you!
It’s a reality that people will expand to fill the space they are given. If you get to a larger desk because you just can’t fit everything on your current one, soon enough that larger desk will be covered with more clutter and unnecessary materials making you feel cramped again. Rather than giving each person more space, help them become more organized through filing systems, making things digital and prioritizing work flow. People often don’t need any more space, they just need better systems to organize their work materials. Consider providing those systems for them, or provide training so they can develop their own. In the long run it will be much less expensive than more office space.
Make sure you incorporate flex space that is useful for a variety of purposes and will get used all day for different tasks. You may even consider making some of this flex space a “standing room only” environment with no chairs and bar height tables. Some work and many meetings are much more effective if they are done standing up because it creates a sense of urgency and importance on the topic being discussed or the work being done.
Also, there are a couple of things to consider in any office space design to make sure the people the office is designed for are actually happy. Utilize natural light as much as you can. It’s comfortable, it creates a rhythm throughout the day as the sun rises and falls, and honestly it’s free! Although natural light is the best, don’t forget to install enough workspace lighting so eyes stay happy and strain free. Also, don’t forget to consider ergonomics. Comfortable chairs, easy to reach storage and aesthetically pleasing fixtures are important. Considering how much time you, your coworkers or employees and your customers will be spending in your office, and don’t forget about creature comforts and personal touches.
For help optimizing your office space design contact Carolina Services can help you understand and dream about how to best use the space you already have or are moving into. We use the same CAD software as architects and engineers that can help you get the most out of the space you have saving you time and money. Call us today at 843-566-0656!!
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