Planning an office space is exciting – not least because it usually means that your business is growing! When opportunity knocks, it can be easy to get carried away and let your brain go wild with ideas about your future workspace. It can be easy to forget that there are practical factors at play that will affect your office’s atmosphere, the productivity of the staff, and the security of your assets. Here are five important factors you should consider when you are designing your new work zone.
The Social Space
Forward-thinking office designers are now giving up to 50 percent of the space in their designs over to social space. There are multiple reasons behind this shift towards sociability in office design. Companies are eager to foster bonds and networks amongst their best staff members. A positive office culture is pretty dependent upon actual communication – and this is most effectively done in a social setting. Companies that incorporate sociability into their offices are also likely to retain their best members of staff, as staff is far more likely to feel comfortable in a place where they feel at ease.
Outdoor social spaces are also huge morale boosters in offices. Anything that helps people feel less trapped during their day will help them feel at home, relaxed, and ready to be productive with a team they actually know.
Social space is very important – but so is a degree of privacy in the office. Micromanagement through surveillance can be a negative factor when it comes to employee productivity. Employees working in an environment where they feel constantly watched does nothing for their morale and can stifle genuine desire to work creatively and think ideas through. Of course, when designing an office, you want to be able to ensure you can reach out to any of your employees. This does not mean that you have to build a workspace panopticon. Dignity is important!
The success of office space is more reliant than ever upon its internet connectivity. Everything from emails to video conferencing is dependent upon good WiFi coverage. The office as a conceptual space was changed forever with the invention of the World Wide Web in 1989. Offices have always been places of communication and information exchange. The internet changed these things irreversibly.
When planning an office space, you need to make sure that it will be fully covered by WiFi. This can be done in one of two ways.
Range extenders are suitable for smaller office spaces. They act as signal boosters for your WiFi router, effectively extending its range by a few meters. They don’t require any extra wiring to install – they simply amplify the signal that is already being produced. Range extenders have the same problems as regular modems. Signal becomes weaker the further away a device is from the modem or extender. You won’t get entirely even coverage across the office.
It is worth installing access points if you are setting up a large office that covers several floors or rooms. Unlike range extenders, access points are wired into your modem using ethernet cables. They then send out a signal as if they were tributary modem units. With carefully planned out access point placement, you can ensure that your office gets a very even distribution of the signal. If your office requires quick internet across the property for things like video uploads, remote conferencing or internet-based telesales, you are best off installing access points.
Room To Expand
Successful business ventures and growth go hand in hand – so you need to be willing to expand within your office. This doesn’t mean that you need to get an office that is too large for your current staff. Instead, offices designed with growth in mind are modular: if new staff is bought in then, seating arrangements and offices can be quickly moved into place. Modular offices are becoming increasingly popular as high rent prices force business owners to seek more efficient accommodating growth methods.
Unfortunately, theft does occur from office spaces on a semi-regular basis. It is important to try and protect your company against theft. Luckily, there are some pretty simple steps that you can take when laying out your office space to protect against theft. The most important way of preventing theft is by controlling who comes in and out of the building itself. Installing an authentication system such as a key fob doorway at your entrance is a good way of making sure you know exactly who is coming in and going out.