Effective space planning and space design
Space planning is needed in order to make the right impression to employees and visitors alike. The layout and design of your office makes a big statement about your company, especially those areas visited by customers or suppliers, so it is important to take the time and think out the space and what you want to achieve with in order to get things right. Space planning is required for all areas in the office not, just task areas. Reception areas, meeting rooms, training rooms, breakout areas all need to be carefully planned to ensure that they achieve maximum functionality and efficiency while not giving up anything for the comfort of the space and the style and design of the area. The modern work environment is changing and technology is advancing rapidly, so regular work is not limited to the desk anymore. It is important that multi-functional spaces are created to meet this need.
We work with you to find the most suitable furniture and fittings that combine design and practicality to provide an environment in which employees and visitors alike will feel comfortable and engaged. The most important factors when planning and designing a space is ensuring the correct furniture is used for the space requirements. The key factors for determining suitable furniture is versatility, adaptability and durability for breakout areas, meeting rooms, training rooms, canteens etc. The reception area can take a different focus, of course you need comfortable and functional furniture but this is sometimes the only space visitors will see, so the aesthetics of the space can take precedence, as it is important that it reflects your corporate values, corporate style and professionalism.
• Breakout Space
Breakout areas are vital for a well functioning office environment and are become increasingly important as technology makes mobile working easier.. They function as temporary relaxation zones, where people can get away from their desks for a short while, make calls, review emails, as well as somewhere to hold less formal client or internal meetings make calls.
Space planning is very important here and there should be distinction between breakout areas and task areas. Breakout furniture needs to reflect the fact that people are moving to an area that is anything but ‘business as usual’. It can afford to be colourful and fun as well as relaxing.
• Meeting Space
Meetings rooms, by their nature are often needed to be multi-functional spaces that are easily adaptable to different requirements and situations. Selecting the correct furniture is crucial as it needs to be sufficiently flexible to reflect the room’s ever-changing nature. When designing the space it is important to choose furniture that is versatile, adaptable and durable, as well as simple to assemble, reconfigure, transport and store.
Selecting standard ranges of rectangular, curved and trapezoidal tables with fixed or folding legs and stackable chairs can be useful so that you can customise the room to suit the changing needs. This will help give the room a more co-ordinated feel. This can be combined with bespoke solutions, combining craftsmanship and design that gives your meeting room a unique feel but also makes it very flexible.
• Training Space
Training rooms often have to double up as meeting rooms, so flexibility is also important when planning the furniture. Tables need to be multi-functional so that they can be easily configured for different purposes. The space will likely be reconfigured regularly, so the furniture needs to be very durable to withstand the bangs they will receive as they’re constantly moved around. Tables with collapsible bases and heavy duty castors are often recommended because these are easy to reorganize and store.
• Reception Space
Reception is the first and sometimes the only part of your offices that visitors see.It must create the right impression. The design, the feel and the furniture you choose needs to reflect the company image and co-ordinate with the rest of your interior office design. This however should not come at the neglect of the reception staff. Too many reception areas are designed on aesthetics alone, ignoring how the reception staff interact with the environment, often leaving it impossible to work safely or productively.
This is a bigger challenge for companies, as the reception area is not only an area to welcome visitors, it is also a working space, with receptionists required to do other administrative roles. It is a delicate balance, first impressions count, so it must convey the right message to visitors but it it must also accommodate fully the needs of reception staff and other staff who use the area.
Are you creating a new space? Why not get in touch with our ergonomic consultants for advice to ensure you are factoring in all key spatial considerations – 01 6110 200.