Alejandra Puckett Office Design April 18th, 2018 - 13:10:21
When a city is planned well the communication channels are well-designed and accessible so that people feel a sense of community and togetherness. In the same way an office layout will dictate the sense of community that the employees feel. The office layout influences the manner in which the staff communicate with each other the length and quality of their interactions how they socialize and ultimately how they learn from each other in both formal and informal ways. When planning the office design a balance needs to be struck between the ability to interact in open spaces and the ability to work in privacy. This means it is critical to take into consideration the specific job requirements of all of the staff members when planning an office layout.
How does this urban planning model play out in terms of office productivity? Office assistants for example are generally situated in spaces that are more public often close to the main passageways so that they are more accessible to their supervisors and other staff members. In contrast more senior management tend to have offices with doors so that they are able to hold private meetings or work in seclusion if their tasks require a deeper level of concentration. Of course the company culture will ultimately dictate where senior management put their offices. It is a trend among some types of companies for managers and CEOs to sit in open workstations along with their staff so as to appear more accessible.
A highly detailed understanding about your businesses current and forecasted staff demands offices versus workstations configurations as well as other needs including office reception areas storeroom areas conference & collaboration spaces will help you vet would-be office space tenancies and receive design & fitout quotations in a considerably reduced timeframe while giving you more control of your project; Safety - while you are planning all your needs make sure you feature a well defined summary about your unique office relevant safety specifications. It will help to generate a safety checklist together with your OH&S spokesperson since this will validate your preliminary OH&S requirements and you can then integrate them into your office design & fitout planning work-flows. Be sure to account for wheelchair access;
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.