REoptimizer® Blog

The Importance of An Office Layout

Posted by Don Catalano on Oct 15, 2018 8:32:00 AM


Finding the perfect location is just the start of creating the best office for your company. The way that you lay out the space also matters greatly, making it important that you take the time to carefully plan your office design. Here are some of the reasons why office layout is so important:

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Topics: office layout

Choosing The Right Office Layout for Your Company

Posted by Don Catalano on Oct 27, 2014 9:38:00 AM

Over the years, opinions on the perfect office layout have changed. Once, offices were built out with rows of windowed and windowless private offices, usually assigned depending on rank, and limited numbers of cubicle spaces. Then, they became farms of cubicles with few, if any private offices. In an attempt to increase collaboration (and lower occupancy costs), some companies remove the dividers and create truly open layouts. All three styles of layout have their pros and cons. The right layout for your company is the one whose benefits match your needs and whose detriments are not concerns.

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Topics: office layout

Space Density and the Office Layout

Posted by Don Catalano on May 30, 2014 10:11:00 AM

There are two basic ways to reduce your occupancy cost. One way is to simply make do with less expensive space. Another is to rejigger your office layout and improve your space density. Either giving up unused space or adding new users without increasing your square footage can give you the best of both worlds.

Office density is the number of people you can squeeze into a given area. For instance, an 5,000 square foot office that has 20 people in it has half the density of one with 40 people. Reductions from 250 square feet per employee to 125 might require a major revision of office layout and design but are being achieved by small and large companies alike.
 

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Topics: office layout, corporate real estate, commercial real estate, CRE

Open Office Layout Drawbacks

Posted by Don Catalano on May 22, 2014 3:12:00 PM

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Topics: office layout, corporate real estate, commercial real estate, CRE

The Biggest Gripes About Open Office Layouts and How to Cope

Posted by Don Catalano on May 12, 2014 9:34:00 AM

After years of open-office layouts, employers are finally figuring out how to use them to shrink spaces and employees are starting to speak with a clear voice. Many of them say that they hate the office layout. However, when you dig into the data, it's not the open office that they hate. It's its drawbacks, and they can be managed with a bit of creativity.


So what do employees hate about open offices? There are a few common complaints:

  • No ability to make phone calls or have conversations without being overheard.

  • A lack of ability to work without interruption.

  • Intervening noise from other employees.

  • No personal defined space.

While one way to solve this problem is to go back to a traditional closed-floor plan office layout with private offices for everyone, most companies aren't going to do this. Instead, they can use some (or all) of these techniques to mitigate these typical complaints:

 

Add Beneficial Sound

One of the ways to manage sound levels in an open floor plan office is to add the right kind of sound. A background sound like white or pink noise can help to both prevent it from seeming eerily quiet. At the same time, a constant, pleasant sound gives people's brains something to focus on instead of a neighbor's conversations.

Offer Small Private Spaces

Private spaces -- like small impromptu conference rooms -- can serve the role of offices. Workers that need a place to make a private phone call or that just need some time to think can use these spaces to duck out of their cube or workstation and get some work done. The key to making these work is to include enough of them in your office layout that they can be used on an as-needed basis instead of needing to be reserved.

These spaces have a second benefit, too. When a group of people need to get together for a collaboration session, they use the spaces for it. This saves them from disturbing the people around them.

 

Create Serendipity

One of the biggest benefits of an open floor plan office layout is that the space you save by getting rid of private offices and large cubes can be reassigned to more productive uses. Larger break rooms or employee cafe's don't just let workers get out of their cubes. They also make it possible for lunchtime chatter to turn into productive business decisions. Shared work areas for printers and other office machines can reduce your IT budget by saving you from buying everyone a printer and scanner. Employees also have to get up, walk around and bump into each other to use them. This also shifts conversation away from the cube while contributing to a healthy level of non-disturbing background noise.

 

Embrace Working from Home

Finally, one of the best solutions to the problems with an open office layout is to let employees escape it periodically. While part of the reason for an open floor plan is to increase employee collaboration, the reality of the modern work place is that your team spends a lot of its time physically apart. Accepting this reality and allowing your employees to choose to work from home (at least part time) gives them the opportunity to have a space that they control while also lessening the load on your traditional office. That way, when a worker is at the office, it's because she wants to be and, hopefully, because she's open to leveraging your open office layout's benefits.

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Topics: office layout, corporate real estate, commercial real estate, CRE

5 Things You Should Know Before Changing an Office Layout

Posted by Don Catalano on Mar 28, 2014 9:39:00 AM

New office layouts are both more and less open than layouts of the past. While many of the benefits of modern layouts have been touted widely, they are more complicated than they initially seem. Done right, a new office layout will serve more employees in fewer square feet while creating a physical space that encourages team work and collaboration. Done wrong, it creates an office where employees feel constantly on display and frequently interrupted. Here are some trends to keep in mind as you ponder renovating your office space.

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Topics: office layout

5 Facts You Need to Know When Changing an Office Layout

Posted by Don Catalano on Jan 7, 2014 12:18:00 PM

Modern office layouts can be an anomaly. They’re both more and less open than layouts of the past. And while many of the benefits of modern layouts have been touted widely, they are more complicated than they initially seem. Done right, a new office layout will serve more employees in fewer square feet while creating a physical space that encourages team work and collaboration. Done wrong, it creates an office where employees feel constantly on display and frequently interrupted. Here are five key points you should know as you evaluate the renovation of your office space: 

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Topics: office layout