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Terri Brown Office Design April 26th, 2018 - 13:29:48
Legal minimum office space per person. There is no prescribed minimum occupancy level for a modern office design. Within the UK Building Regulations the section dealing with Fire Hazards (Part B of the Building Regs.) advises a minimum area of 6 square metres (64 sq feet) for each person in an office premises. This figure can be achieved by equating the total headcount against the overall net internal area (NIA) and so doesnt necessarily limit the space for a single person with a desk. In practice offices will have a number of factors - mostly relating to Fire Escape but also the provisions of WCs amount of fresh air available through a ducted system etc. - that have an impact on the legal maximum number of people accommodated within an office building. The Means of Escape is the key criteria for density of occupation. Once a workstation office design layout is defined the Building Control advisor can determine if there are sufficient escape routes for the staff numbers.
Furniture & Fixtures - Take time to research all solutions available in terms of office furniture and fixtures. Nowadays there are a lot of different innovations in regards to office workstation and furniture designs that actually add tremendous value. Examples could include non standard shaped furniture that enhance office floor area and low hanging roof fittings for space saving and cord management; Natural Elements - Employ all accessible natural elements efficiently - pay specific consideration to direct light sources as it is one of the most valuable assets within a great office design. It really has been scientifically proven that the amount of natural light in an office has a direct impact on productivity and staff comfort. The proper way to guarantee effective natural light utilization is linked to properly designed open space planning alongside workstation design and configuration;
This includes social areas meditation/prayer rooms games rooms etc. Businesses are realizing that employee retention rates increase if people like where they work and feel appreciated. Hoteling and Moteling is one of the latest design trends and are designed to cater to traveling employees who are not in the office full time. Hoteling and moteling allows these employees to reserve office space on an as needed basis. Designers have seen a huge increase in this type of office design and shows that businesses are accommodating all employees whilst reducing their additional office rental costs as fewer offices are needed.
What lies ahead for occupancy ratios? As mobile technology improves as home working becomes more viable with bandwidth increases and as part-time working becomes more widespread so the need for one desk per person diminishes. Increasingly modern office design is moving towards a ratio of 7 or 8 desks for every 10 staff. The next question is then about saving money by reducing the overall office space rental or to perhaps give some of the space over to social and team purposes? One of the leading adopters of modern office design incorporating flexible working and shared desk allocation CISCO Systems works on a ratio of 160 sq ft per person. Clearly they havent used unallocated desks and mobile working as a cost-cutting measure.