Office Space Planning
As organizations grow, planning for staffing and space utilization becomes critical. You need cubicles and offices for your new hires.
You want to retain proximity for employees who need to work together frequently. You need to plan for common areas and conference rooms. You want to create an environment that fosters positive spirits and employee motivation and satisfaction.
Additionally, building codes and regulations govern some space planning decisions you make. So do aspects of employment law in such areas as employee accommodation and accessibility.
This tip about how to gain management input for people needs and space planning will give you a proven approach to try to stay one jump ahead of your company's growth. These are the questions to ask as you do space planning for people.
This space planning will enable you to have employee workstations when you need them. Yet, smart space planning will keep you from spending large amounts of money at an unnecessary time.
When space becomes an issue, managers tend to think "build more offices." Often, a less expensive space planning solution is reasonable with planning and space redesign.
Additionally, if asked, almost every employee will tell you that they would be more comfortable, productive, and successful working without distractions in a private office. Often, the decision to use cubicles is a function of space and cost.
These are the questions to ask as you do space planning for people. Recognize that many of the responses will be opinions, and you will need to rely on professional designers and builders for definitive answers and recommendations in space planning.
Steps in Space Planning
- To determine whether to add-on to the current building, build up, move locations, rent space, build an office building, or redesign current space, your projected headcount for this year and next is necessary.
Project growth in the number of employees similar to this year unless your forecast is higher and brings guaranteed growth.
Projected Headcount: Year 1 Starting Date
Projected Headcount: Year 2 Starting Date
- Of this projected headcount increase, how many employees require offices and how many require cubicles?
- Looking at your current level of staffing, do you have the appropriate housing for each employee (e.g. do you have managers without offices)?
- Looking at both current and projected employees, is their access to conference rooms, lunchrooms, storage space, and restrooms appropriate? Will this change as you add new employees?
- List any additional thoughts you have about our space planning. Have you seen successful concepts implemented in other organizations? What else should the organization consider as the space plan is developed? Pictures of space design that have impressed you are also welcome. Send the links to the Human Resources staff.
More about Space Planning
Calculate the amount of space that your employees need for offices, cubicles, shared areas, break/lunch rooms, restrooms, and more.
Offices vs. open space remain the major debate although over the past twenty-five years, the percentage of employees working in a cubicle has increased to 70%, according to Robert J. Grossman in an article that only SHRM members can read: Offices vs Open Space.
For computer programmers: Private Office or Cubicle: The Debate Goes On