Angelica Short Office Design April 16th, 2018 - 14:10:55
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.
Eco-Friendly Office Design Another recent trend is for companies to go green. Saving the environment is an important topic that both large and small companies must address. Regardless of the size of your business you can make a difference by conserving energy maximizing natural light in your office space using recycled materials and recycling creating a healthier workplace environment and purchasing eco-friendly office equipment. Ecoply is just one example of the materials are used today to make office furniture that is sturdy and useful but also breaks down in landfills more easily than traditional materials.
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.
Break Free from Cubicle Design A recent trend is to have everyone working in an open floor plan model. This means doing away with window offices for managers and cubicle offices for other employees. Upper management is seated in a large room and shares their space with every other employee in the company. This allows for open communication between employees and their managers. It is just one way to improve communication in the workplace. Remove cubicles and take down the barriers that prevent employees from open communication. Base your new office design on functionality ease of use purpose of office space and a mobile work style model. Create small hubs where employees can gather and discuss ideas.