It is no secret that corporations are looking for ways to reduce their operating expenses and traditionally accepted norms are falling away for the new workplace. Many office tenants are now using innovative ways to offset the increases in rental rates.
The general concept is that a more open environment leads to reduced rental expenses and and increase to the firm’s bottom line. This theory can work well for some types of companies where collaboration is essential to productivity. On the other hand it may be nonproductive for businesses that have employees that require privacy. Law firms come to mind.
So the point is, don’t just follow the herd. It is possible that moving your business into the latest trend in office design could have a negative impact on productivity. A different environment could also change the corporate culture. Depending upon your present culture this could be a good or a bad thing.
There is more to office space than design. There is another area called the sociology of architecture. It involves thinking about the work to be done in the space and the characteristics of the people working in the environment. By focusing upon the occupants and providing them with a compatible environment workplace productivity can increase.
After thirty years in the commercial office business working with tenants I have seen many different uses for office space. It is safe to say that the perfect space for one business is usually not the same for any other business.
Important Office Design Considerations
- Focus on the personality traits of the occupants
- Include a detailed furniture plan including the furniture designs
- Determine the essence of the office environment. What do you want the space to say to your employees and guests about your corporation?
- Consider operating hours and security
- Don’t forget the mechanical systems in particular HVAC and lighting
- How much flexibility are you going to need over the term of your lease?
- Your staff is going to spend at a minimum of a third of their life for the next year in the office. Will the workspace improve their day or be a distraction?
As for me I need a private office to focus on my work. There are times that I collaborate and then there are times I need quiet to think and focus. Being able to close a door and have a speaker phone activated while not disturbing my neighbors is important.
Before you start to visit office location it is a good idea to dream. Stop and be creative and take time to imagine what your ideal space would offer. Think about what you like about your present office and also what you don’t like. Take these thoughts and make a preliminary design. This way you will be more focused on your property tour when you are making critical decisions to choose the top locations. Always remember that any space can be rebuild so if you like the building but dislike the space this is where good negotiation for tenant improvement dollars is handy.
You should also read these interesting articles on office space design.