Space planning is a vital element to any office design, and here’s what we thought you should know about how great space planning can help your business.
When you close your eyes and think of your perfect work or office space, you probably imagine the colour of the space and what furniture you want to use. But if you think further than that, you’ll find you also think about where things need to go in order to work for your needs, like where you’ll put your second screen, or how far a cabinet needs to be to allow you to be most productive.
Now imagine you walk into your workspace and nothing is where you need it… you’d probably be quite unproductive (and a little annoyed). That’s why great space planning is so vital. For any business, no matter how big or small, great space planning can change your world and help keep your team productive and healthy.
But what exactly is space planning?
In a nutshell, space planning is the process of planning out a space to serve the needs of the company. That’s the simple answer, but space planning is more than just the layout of a space, it’s also about how elements in the room are planned, for example, ergonomics and ease of use. But at the end of the day, a design that has been well space planned is all about the need!
When you start a project and look at the needs of the business your first question should always be; “how am I going to lay the room out to fit the need?”
What can great space planning do for your business?
Ultimately great space planning helps provide a solution to what your company is struggling with internally. Every business is unique and not everyone is struggling with the same problems, but employing great space planning can help alleviate problems that are specific to your needs. At the end of the day, space planning can be tailored to give you whatever solution you need for business. So what can great space planning do for your business?
1. Improve communication
One of the biggest problems most companies have is around communication, and poor communication can affect many elements of your business from relationships to being able to sell effectively. A well space planned space can be designed to facilitate communication. For example, if you have two departments who work closely together, planning the space to allow for easy access to each other’s workspaces helps to make communication easier. It’s also very important to ensure your space planning takes into account where people are sitting, who they are sitting next to, and what type of person they are.
2. Increase productivity
A well-planned and designed space allows for a more productive office. Ergonomic elements like furniture choices, lighting, where people are sitting, and ambient sounds are sometimes overlooked as small details, but they are a core element to every space and something as small as having space for an extra screen can improve productivity. Little changes like lighting a desk properly or changing a chair make your employees more physically comfortable, which leaves them with fewer distractions and allow them to focus more. Great space planning ensures these elements are introduced into the space in a way that helps with unique needs.
3. Ensure collaboration
Collaboration between departments is vital for any business to be successful. Space planning your office properly can help with collaboration from the start. If you don’t think about the need for two departments to collaborate and put them on different floors, for example, you’re building a space that doesn’t allow for collaboration. Believe it or not, great space planning in a certain way can assist with sales as collaboration is a key element for business to sell more.
4. Boost morale and interpersonal relationships between staff members
Something as small as adding space for people to enjoy their lunch hour can improve morale and help build relationships. If you have a small space, great space planning can help you use that space effectively to ensure people have the room they need to build interpersonal relationships.
5. Address privacy issues
No matter what your business does, having a measure of privacy is vital. Open plan spaces are very popular but over the years many people have voiced their dislike of the open plan space. And one of the reasons people don’t like them is because they feel the lack of privacy makes people unproductive, sick, and watched. But some spaces need open plan, and great space planning can provide privacy where needed.
6. Helps minimise acoustic problems
Another problem that arises from open plan spaces, noise in an office can be a real problem. Poorly designed space or furniture placed in the wrong place can leave people feeling like even if they whisper, the boss will hear. This is not only distracting for those wanting to work but also makes staff feel like they can’t communicate. An introvert particular probably won’t raise a problem if they feel like everyone can hear. But a well-designed space can help reduce the acoustic issues and make people feel comfortable in their space. For instance adding in some plants to build “barriers” against sound and between people.
7. Energise an environment
The space you work in every day has a huge impact on the way people feel. If you walk into an office every day and find the space uncomfortable, you don’t like who you’re sitting next to, or the room itself makes you feel down, the environment is draining and off-putting. Updating your design, asking your staff what they like/dislike about the space, and having the space properly planned can energise your office environment. Which will ultimately make people more productive and healthy.
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