Office Design

5 Top Tips For A Workspace Design Project

6th June 2016

With over 23 years’ experience in the design and fit out market across a whole range of clients; we are asked daily what makes a great workspace design project, and what constitutes the successful execution of an office relocation. We’ve come up with our top 5 to help you with the initial planning stages of your project.

1. Consult your staff

One of the main things we advise our clients to do in the early design and planning stages is to consult with their staff. Your staff will be utilising the new space, so it makes sense to incorporate their input into the final design.

Equally, as more emphasis is made on workplace wellbeing, employers have a duty to adapt an individual’s office space to ensure wellbeing is maintained. A successful design will also aid productivity within the workplace culture.

Rapport’ often work with HR teams to provide employee workshops before the relocation process to help with this process.

2. Future proof your design

Based on advancements in technology and cloud-based working, there is a shift in the traditional 9-5 office-based culture.

With many spending parts of their week working from home, head offices may not need so much space in the future. So, if you’re an organisation looking to increase flexible working then it is worth being mindful of the need for extended space in the future.

As an Employers Agent, we work in support of agents and their clients to future-proof design. During the lengthy process and finer details of the commercial lease, we consider human factors and the building environment in the form of a Time and Space Analysis.

This systematic assessment of how workspace is used over the course of a normal working week, uses quantitative methods such as behaviour mapping and decibel measurement combined with qualitative data to present a picture of how fully a business’s space is utilised.

Example of questions included in the analysis can include:

  1. Staff numbers – will this be more or less in the future? Is there a way of utilising the current workspace? Will all your staff be office based in the future? And do all your staff all need to be office based?
  2. Where are the majority of your staff based?
  3. What’s the business need for staying in the current area?
  4. Could your business save money by moving out of the capital into an area that is well linked via future transportation?
  5. Could technology help downsize the current need for meeting space?
  6. Have you consulted with your employees? Do they require more work/life balance and remote working initiatives?

These can be crucial insights formed from early communication and consultation with staff

3. Utilise all space

The average rent for office space in central London is £55.34 per sq ft. The demand for commercial West End’s property is also high.

For small businesses and organisations looking to reduce their outgoings, renting office space in the capital isn’t sustainable. Many businesses are moving out of the capital, to areas like Hammersmith or South West London where rents are more reasonable. With that in mind, utilising the space you have or looking to rent is crucial.

Pose questions within your planning phase. For example, your reception area. Does it need to be as large as it is? Can it be a multi-purpose space? How about creating meeting area points or break out areas to utilise all the space effectively?

4. Plan ahead

We advise teams to look at projects at least 6-10 months in advance of a move date to identify key questions for the move.

In our experience, we find that clients are less frantic when they’ve identified all their options early on, which can save on costs in the long-term. Equally staff stress, a reaction to the change reduces.

Lease terms and the legalities of securing a new property can also be a lengthy, tricky process. We often oversee this process, on behalf of our client, with their selected commercial agents at the very early stages to identify the key areas that work for staff alongside the business needs. We are very experienced at identifying available properties and the legalities of lease terms in consultation with our clients and on their behalf; this enables our clients to continue with other business matters.

5. An effective moving day

To ensure a smooth office move, you need to be fully organised with extra support teams working with you.  It helps to ensure a smooth transition for your staff to come in, to unpack their box straight away and enable them to start working immediately.

Think about the process logically and organise teams who have clear objectives to make the move seamless throughout the relocation project.

Having Rapport to Project Manage the processes, on your behalf with agents and contractors, enables you to concentrate on other areas of your role, business needs and in the long run, can control costs.

If you would like to consult with on your office relocation or workspace design then Rapport’ contact us on – 01252 712590 or email us at; info@rapport-solutions.org.uk

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