Office Planning

Office Planning is a method to design and organize your office layout effectively. When done well, office planning can improve workflow, increase employee communication and enhance your overall work environment.

Office Planning Floor Plan
  • Outline your office planning objectives
  • Determine your functional needs
  • Create your office design layout

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So, what is the best way to get started with an office planning project? Whether you are updating your office layout, organizing an office relocation or setting up an office space for the first time, embarking on an office planning project can seem like a daunting task. Without a doubt, office planning can be challenging. However, the benefits of creating a well-planned office layout will far outweigh the problems that can be caused by not doing so.

In fact, the design and layout of your workspace can influence productivity by up to 20%. With stakes that high, it’s worth investing time and effort in your office planning. Whether you will do the office planning yourself or with the help of professionals, there are some important considerations and planning tasks that you will want to get familiar with to get your project organized and off to a good start.

Below you will some good office planning advice, to help you get well on your way to creating a productive, efficient and pleasing office space.

Outline Your Office Planning Objectives

Before you get into different types of office styles, or you are swayed by the latest office design trends, you will want to establish your objectives and know what your office planning needs are. Some common office planning objectives include:

  • Reduce operation costs
  • Encourage more employee interaction
  • Stimulate creativity
  • Enhance productivity
  • Support cultural change
  • Reduce environmental impact
  • Promote employee wellbeing
  • Attract and retain staff
  • Support growth

Good office planning is all about problem-solving. Your office planning objectives may just be one of these, all of these, or none of these at all. What matters, is that you are clear on what it is. Take some time to identify what your objectives are. Write them down, get input from your employees and fine tune them. Your office planning efforts will be more successful if you are clear on what you want to achieve and your list of objectives will help you stay on track.


Determine Your Functional Needs

The next step is to determine what the functional needs of your office are. These are the various functions that need to take place in your office space. An office function can be a task or group of tasks performed by a department, team or individual. For example, reception is a type of office support function. Your reception may involve one person or a small team, and it has specific needs to be effective. What are these? Usually, the reception needs to be near the entrance of the floor or level, so that staff can greet customers. The reception may need to have access to a printer or photocopier. What else does your reception need? Mapping this out will help you determine how much space you need around the reception, and where your electrical sockets need to be placed.

Another example of an office function is meetings. What kind of meetings occur in your office? Are they one-on-one meetings, large meetings or both? Do they involve clients or consultants too? These are the types of questions you will want to ask yourself, as well as those you work with, in order to define your office planning needs.

In addition, you will want to look at the number of employees and the projected growth. Will you have space for everyone? Do people eat lunch at the office, and is there space for everyone to eat at the same time, or could you solve it by employees eating in shifts? What about the kitchen facilities?

Why do this? It’s simple. Each of your office functions needs a “home” or space in your office. In order to determine the best location, you need to know what your office functions are and how they work.

Create a prioritized list of the needs for each of your office functions and include that list in your project plan. This will help you to choose the right office layout for your needs and to create a budget for your project.

Create a Budget

Once you have outlined your objectives and determined what your functional needs are, you need to create a budget for your office design. Important considerations when creating an office planning budget are:

What is the scale of the project? Is it a small project that you can execute yourself or do you need to hire a professional office planner, interior designer, or architect? If you plan on moving walls and utilities such as plumbing and electrical, it is likely that you will need to hire a professional. The management company for the building should be able to advise you as to the requirements.

Will you need to purchase new furniture? Some office furniture can be purchased online. Others must be purchased through a dealer. Many office furniture dealers have office planning professionals on staff that can help assist you with the design, layout, and installation of their office furniture systems.

Does your project require an office move? If so, make sure to include moving expenses in your budget. Don’t forget to consider if there will be a time period when your company will need to pay for both the new office space as well as your current office space. These are commonly overlooked expenses that can add additional expense.

To help you plan and budget your new office space, create a floor plan. A floor plan will help to gauge the scope of your office project. And it will help designers, contractors, suppliers, and movers to see more accurately what your needs are. This will save you time and money when getting estimates.


Have Fun!

Finally, have fun! An office planning project is fun. It can revitalize a company’s moral and improve your work environment. Involve your employees in the process. Search for office ideas online for inspiration. Create several different floor plan options and let your employees vote for the one they like best. And when your office design is complete, celebrate your success.

Create Your Office Floor Plan Today

With RoomSketcher, it’s easy to create floor plans for your office planning project.
Learn more about using RoomSketcher as your office design software of choice.

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