The Value of Good Space Planning 

How much space do you actually need?

You will always hear the &More team talking about the business, the people and the workplace! Our passionate conviction is that the key to a successful design job starts with determining or re-examining the purpose of the space being designed, the demands of the people using it and the key objectives of the client. Once that is done an in-depth analysis within the framework of well-developed design principles will help you create a balanced, easily navigable, productive and beautiful space.

The Business and The People

We write amid several global events that are having a significant medium- and long-term impact on almost all our organisations, our businesses and our people. We are all having to work harder than ever before to stay on top of our game and position ourselves for future growth.  People and the businesses they operate within will be considering many issues as they try to understand the way in which they work and how to make themselves the most effective and efficient in the new order of things.

These considerations might include:

  • Are we doing the right things, for the right reasons in the right spaces?
  • How do we provide a better work environment to support our people and what we do?
  • If we make changes how do we ensure they improve productivity, job satisfaction and well-being?
  • How do we attract and retain good talent?
  • What is our carbon footprint and how is it affected by our infrastructure and estate?
  • What will the financial investment need to be from the business and how do we ensure it is cost effective and delivers the best return to the business.
  • With respect to technology – do our current systems, spaces and operating styles support our planned new ways of working?

The key to future success lies in understanding that planning and implementing any change has an impact on its people and their business.  How can we ensure the impact will be positive in all respects?

We are sure you will agree that there are many things to consider and much information to gather to ensure that we can all change the right things for the right reasons and then deliver maximum efficiency, allow for growth and establish our business and organisations for the future.

The WorkPlace

Recent world events will continue to have an important impact but the reality is that most projects start as a reaction to a need or an event. Perhaps the workplace is tired, the business has evolved and no longer fits the space, the lease is ending, so an office move is imminent or you are a new business looking for a workspace. These needs will often come in combination. Identifying the best building and/or space to meet your business objectives can be challenging because there are many factors to be considered.

So why should we involve a WorkPlace Consultant like &More?

This is why! Because we can advise and support as you:

      • Define your own project brief
      • Analyse your space budgets to identify how much space you need
      • Brief your property agent
      • Spot places where you can streamline the use of your current workspace or narrow down your property search
      • Create your own Space Plan (see below)
      • Assist with your New Property Review to include: external accessibility, internal accessibility, space planning flexibility and pros & cons of buildings existing infrastructure & services.
      • Assist with key elements of your review of existing premises: to realise the workplace potential, to ensure the optimal allocation of space to reflect the business and the people’s need and to assess the potential subdivision and sublet of excess space

The Space Plan

The Space Plan is an in-depth analysis of the space as it reflects business needs, combined with a creative & technical design.  Space planning is a fundamental element of the interior and exterior design process.  Without comprehensive space planning, you risk creating a design that is not optimal and that does not work for what you need.

Let’s have a look at four key factors to consider when creating an effective space plan.

1. Zones and Circulation

Before you start designing, you’ll have to define zones depending on the purpose of the space. There are three basic zone types:  Private, Invited and Public. These zones are then broken down further into work and social settings. A ‘setting’ will be dependent on the objective and activity of the workspace. User engagement will ensure the best practice is applied and floor space is fully optimised for productivity and efficiency. Easy circulation is a priority and it is always a major component of space planning.

2. Natural Daylight

Maximising the amount of light that gets into a space is always crucial to effectiveness. This is done by utilising natural lighting or by making sure there is sufficient artificial light in the space.  Every space needs a mixture of ambient lighting, overhead lighting and task lighting. Getting the lighting zones and settings correct can have a positive impact on the overall environment and all other settings.

3.  Services

When we are working with you to create your design, you need to think about the existing or new services – are these supplied via perimeter trunking, floor boxes, grommets or power poles?  Next you need to know how many appliances, lights, and other appliances will potentially need. This is a coordination exercise that is sometimes overlooked but is fundamental to a good space plan, especially when coordinated with the other services and the furniture.  For example, nothing saps morale more than trailing cables or desks sitting directly under air vents or too close to heaters.

4. Acoustics

Noisy and distracting working environments affect productivity, which means that steps to making the environment more noise comfortable from the outset will improve productivity and satisfaction. Careful consideration of the location of settings and activities taking place within certain zones will assist with managing overall noise levels within the work environment.  Professional understanding of the acoustic performance of materials used and ensuring the correct specification, performance and placement from the outset is paramount.

Additional acoustic products can be designed into the overall interior design concept.

We hope this blog helps.

It is very rewarding when this comes together, as all the considerations overlap and you and your people find they are working in a creative and inspiring environment that promotes business productivity, employee well-being and creative growth and it’s all happening in your space.

&More would love to help you.