Let’s look at the ‘density’ factor first. If you can comfortably accommodate 100 people on a floor rather than 80, that’s more bottoms on seats, which reduces risk, and brings more cash through the door. With a little planning that should be possible.
If you are lucky enough to be starting from scratch there are more options open to you. Firstly, consider the positioning of the partition walls and the access corridors. These should be located to create the optimum space in the working areas. The space should consider the size of the furniture, the area that is really needed at a workstation for a comfortable environment, and the availability of light, natural or otherwise. Getting this wrong can have a serious detrimental effect on the practicality of the floor area.
Door positioning is critical too. Put the door in the corner, the obvious place perhaps and certainly the preferred choice of many builders, and you immediately lose the space on the adjacent wall. Put the door in the middle of the wall, where there would probably have been a walkway anyway, and that space is released for profitable workstations. Even if you are moving into an existing building it might be worth the modest expense of moving the door position to create a more usable space.
The choice of desk size should be made before locating partition walls and door access. Everyone likes the idea of a large, sweeping desk to make them feel like the managing director but, in practice, a few centimetres here and there makes little difference. By simply using a slightly smaller desk (that won’t affect the practicality of the work station at all), and planning the dimensions of the room accordingly, you can easily achieve 10% or 20% greater density without significantly affecting the aesthetics of the room.
The image of the place is important too if you are to attract people into your business centre both today and in the future. Being a little creative with the floor layout can create an airy, welcoming feel to the office without any loss of density. Careful use of natural light too is important to help provide an environment that people will look forward to using.
Of course, fashions change. What is attractive and desirable today, becomes dated a few years later. Again, it is possible to take precautions to, in effect, future-proof your serviced office for when the fashion for pinks and purples gives way to greys and black. Choosing a steel-framed desk with a replaceable top, for example, means you can easily refurbish your space to reflect fashion preferences without spending a fortune. Similarly, the clever use of carpet tiles will allow you to replace worn walkways, with complementary-
Rio Designs is one of the UK’s leading designers of office environments specialising in helping its customers make the most of their serviced offices. The company provides its expert design services free to its serviced office customers and supplies a wide range of leading-brand furniture and office accessories throughout the UK.