It is easy to lose balance when you attempt to design your office. There are a number of factors at play that will contribute to the approach you take. You have to ask yourself who you are designing the office for: you or your client? Here, Bellfort Services (http://www.bellfortservices.co.uk) give their advice:
Why Consideration is Necessary
Businesses that are constantly meeting with clients, performing pitches and lingering over long and detailed reports must provide intimate meeting or board rooms, upscale reception areas as well as places to rest with private bathrooms and a place to get coffee. If you rarely see clients than your focus can be on function and how staff interact with stress on ergonomics, logical layouts that will be conducive to efficiency as well as comfort for your team. Each of these business models has very different needs not only in an office design but in layout and space allocation.
The Constant Host
If your business is constantly hosting client meetings than you want to pay special attention to your client’s needs. Consider the following:
- Do not take clients on a safari to get to meeting rooms. Plan your office wisely making a clear path to conference rooms without the need for clients to tromp through the office and view the local wildlife.
- If you have more one on one meetings such as a lawyer’s office try to set things up with the same considerations with support staff farther back in the office and client areas near the front.
- Use prime locations such as windows to bring in natural light, but if you are presenting a lot and can’t afford state of the art equipment consider glare from windows and position equipment and screens to avoid viewing issues.
- Have private bathrooms close to meeting areas to make them easy to find.
- Make sure the path they take is designed to match your brand and image so they are not exposed to the man behind the curtain so to speak.
If you are all business with little to no client entertainment than focus solely on productivity and creating efficient work space:
- Consider what departments interact the most often and keep them within close proximity to one another.
- Consider who has meetings most often and place them closer to the meeting room or provide a layout that is open concept with a meeting table in the centre. This is very effective in creative departments where people collaborate often.
- Consider who has to use equipment such as photocopiers and fax machines and place them closest to equipment or provide them with work stations with combo printer, fax and photocopiers for ultimate efficiency.
- Allot a good portion of the budget to ergonomically friendly work stations.
- Share natural light as much as possible.
Of course there are also businesses that sit in the middle of these two needs, with client interaction that is intermittent not high demand. The focus should be easy access for clients but with more stress on efficiency for staff.