It is important to investigate your operational and staff requirements with a fresh perspective. This will give you new insight into your most pivotal requirements and allow for innovative solutions to be achieved. These solutions should aim to employ current space planning techniques together with the latest technological advances in ergonomic furniture design and service reticulation. The following needs to be determined before you commit to new office space by signing a lease agreement:
- What is your existing staff complement?
- What is your future growth expectation?
- Could an increase in efficiency lead to reduced staff numbers?
- What are the functional needs of each department?
- How do various departments relate to each other?
- How does your business relate to other branches?
- How does your business relate to other businesses?
- What is the working culture of your business?
- What is the working culture of individual departments?
- What interaction is required between staff members, departments and even between branches or other businesses?
- What kind of privacy or autonomy is required for specific staff members, departments?
- What are the budget constraints? (short & long term)
- And many more…
All the above factors need to be deliberated in an effort to break old ingrained habits and pre-set spatial ideas/inclinations. Honest and open minded consideration of these factors will have a pronounced effect on the required extent and character of the new office space and will significantly influence the design of the new layout.
In an effort to resolve some of these issues before signing for a new premises, it will be necessary to do a proper needs assessment taking into account the existing situation as well as an evaluation of the short and long term needs. The assessment should be carried out comprehensively on all levels, from the over-arching level of the organization to each department or business unit down to individual key members of staff.
The needs assessment will culminate in a detailed briefing document that sets out the operational requirements of the business in detail. The operational requirement will determine the spatial requirement and this will give proper guidance as to the location, type and size of building that is required to satisfy your specific needs.