As one of the most asked questions here at Strategy Hat, you’d expect a definitive answer, wouldn’t you?
The truth is every company or organisation is different. Every business has different needs to the next. That said, instead of randomly guessing how many sq ft you need, why not plan it out step by step?
You might find it useful to jot down answers to the more basic questions first:
- How many people do I currently employ?
- Does everyone need their own desk?
- Will I employ any more staff in the next few years?
- What kinds of spaces do I need (fixed workstations / agile area / breakout / meeting rooms)?
What changes to do I need to make?
When considering the future needs of your company, it’s essential to think about what it does now. How do you currently use the space? What is working? What isn’t?
Next, weigh up how your business is structured out across departments. Do you need to make any changes such as merging different departments or prioritise one which is growing?
What about how you work? What have staff complained about or asked for more of? Perhaps you need more quiet zones than you have now or informal breakout spaces for impromptu meetings?
What workplace trends should I consider?
Back at the drawing board, draw up a list of design elements you need to change or incorporate into future fit out plans. Remember: commercial offices today are far more flexible than they’ve ever been.
Therefore, it’s worth factoring in how wireless, mobile technology will change individuals’ work patterns. Are less individual set desks needed perhaps, with more shared, collaborative spaces?
Space-savvy companies factor in future changes. That means considering how expansion plans, too, might affect future space needs.
How can I improve health and wellbeing?
An office relocation or fit out is the perfect opportunity to ensure the office set up is a stimulating environment for your team.
That means taking into account how natural light could be harnessed to create an open, bright space where employees don’t feel ‘cooped up.’
Of course, it’s also vital to invest in comfort areas for everyone to enjoy their downtime. Plus, consider how space, light and aesthetic appeal affects not just employees but visitors and future employees too.
Should I invest in adaptable space?
It’s no secret that open plan is taking over office design and with it comes the flow of agile working practices: the ability for everyone to choose when, where and how they work. Whether working remotely or flexible hours, this nascent practice is shaping how we view a typical work day.
Agile working can be a huge opportunity for you to boost both wellbeing and productivity in the workplace. You could minimise the need for so many fixed desks, saving significant space around the office and up to £13,000 a year per desk.
Could your space benefit from flexible meeting rooms, a large breakout area or agile workstations? Depending on your business, you may find more versatile collaboration spaces useful in how you operate from day to day.
Ultimately, it is important to assess how your company currently functions and what alterations can be made to make significant progress. You can use our space calculator to help give an estimate of how much room you might need but bear in mind that every business is unique with its own requirements.