Each and every company wants the best environment for its employees. Much of a company’s environment and atmosphere comes from having the right leadership, expertise, and energy from the executives, vice presidents, and management of the company. However, another important component of a great environment is the location and space of the company’s office.
Many considerations go into choosing the location of an office. Everything from the safety of the neighbourhood to availability of parking and access to clients, customers, and other business associates can be important to a company and its employees. Even the amenities of the office building and availability of lunch options can matter. However, when it comes down to it, the most important factor is building a space that enhances your company’s objectives and goals.
Why an Office Floor Plan Matters
Over the years, studies and statistics have shown that choosing the right office floor plan can have a huge effect on the productivity and efficiency of the workplace. In fact, a floor plan that matches a company’s goals, business plan, and mentality can have a huge impact on employee motivation and dedication. Finding a floor plan that fits your business is one of the most cost effective ways to boost employee morale.
An employee who enjoys the workplace will not only work harder, but will also work stay with the company longer. So, a first-rate floor plan is one of the best ways to keep good employees longer. In case employee morale and retention are not enough reasons to improve your office’s floor plan, remember that improvements in these areas lead to more profits and growth of your business. Therefore, a good floor plan provides multiple benefits, from the ground up and for all aspects of a business.
How to Choose the Right Layout
Finding and designing the right office space takes time. Whether in a skyscraper of the city centre or a small building in the suburbs, there are a plethora of ideas that can be incorporated into any space. It can be difficult to balance the cost and the potential of any given office space. Often, choosing the right layout and design is really about putting your people and core business at the forefront of the process.
When employees and core business are considered, the most important question regarding a floor plan and layout is this: Will the layout work for your style of business? If your company often works on team projects or requires breakout space, is that space available? Are you a law firm that requires private space for client consultation and conferences? How will noise in open spaces affect your employees? Answering these basic questions regarding how your employees work will go far to determine the appropriate layout.
Another important consideration is what layout will fit the size of your company. This means planning not just for the current number of employees, but for possible growth as well.
To do this, experienced space planners and management companies, such as Saracen in London, look at recent floor plan trends, measure and view the office space and size, become familiar with a company’s core business, and engage in workplace consultancy. Before any physical work is started, a written report is produced to fully explain the concepts and ideas they want to implement. To bring the resulting floor plan to life, Saracen office designs utilise the latest in workspace technology.
The Benefits of Traditional Floor Plans
Once you identify what your company needs, the challenge is how to effectuate that in an actual floor plan to accomplish those goals. To do this, it is necessary to look at what benefits each of the different floor plans provide.
The original office workspace was actual offices. While many start-ups and technology companies have put this floor plan by the wayside, it is still common in professional service companies, such as law firms and accounting companies. Offices are great for providing privacy. It is possible to take confidential phone calls and engage in focused, detailed work without interruption. Additionally, earning an office provides a sense of accomplishment for many employees.
Many companies still utilise cubicles throughout the workspace. When cubicles first became fashionable and desirable in the workplace, they were seen as fantastic replacements to stuffy and pretentious offices. While an office completely separated employees from one another and often indicated status of an employee, cubicles put everyone on the same level and allowed for more open communication and discussion between employees.
Current Trends in Workspaces and Their Effects
Of course, it is also common to have mixed floor plans. Often, companies are installing glass along the fronts of offices or ensuring each office is the same size, shape, and light to promote equality and openness in the workplace. Frequently, offices will include shared workspace and breakout tables for collaborative work or discussions.
Then, there is an open office floor plan. This floor plan has become extremely popular, particularly among technology companies, start-ups, and marketing and design agencies. In an open floor plan, large open spaces with multiple tables (or one long table) and breakout spaces are utilised instead of small individual spaces, such as offices.
The lack of barriers encourages employees to interact with one another, whether on a personal or professional basis. The open floor plan should foster collaboration and exchange of information, which in turn should result in better ideas, faster results, and more well-rounded proposals from employees.
For management and ownership, there are also certain benefits. An open floor plan utilises the office space more efficiently, and the office space can be smaller, which saves on rent. Furthermore, it could allow a company to expand faster without moving to an entirely new office. Management is also able to oversee employees easier.
Every business is unique in its wants and needs. There are many factors that can determine how a company decides to arrange its space, but there is one requirement that remains the same. A floor plan should enhance a business, not hold it back.