In this blog, we give you tips to make finding your new business home easier.A somewhat curious title for a blog, but let me explain. In a house, there are different ‘workplaces’ for different activities. The dining table, the shower and the bed all have their own purpose and are not really interchangeable. Showering in bed is not an option.
When looking for and furnishing a new office, the same applies. However, unfortunately, we often see important things being overlooked. In this blog, we give you tips to simplify the search for your new business home.
IDENTIFY YOUR REQUIREMENTS
Just as in your home, you need to identify your priorities and what will make things easier to assess the current situation. There are several ways to ask your business ‘family’ how they experience their work environment. You can conduct interviews, workshops and/or a(n online) survey. The results – things that work and things that can be improved – form the basis of your list of requirements.
THE WORKPLACE CONCEPT
A good workplace concept features in the list of requirements. As mentioned in the introduction to this blog, if you want to take a shower, a bed won’t help. In your company, employees carry out various activities and need an environment that optimally supports these activities. This principle is called ‘activity-based working’ and simply means that the workstation concept is tailored to the individual’s work activities. A call centre employee needs a different type of workplace than a lawyer, for instance.
In our practice, we often see that organisations do not take the time to develop a workplace concept that really suits the organisation. Often motivated by an architect or by examples at other companies (“we need to work like Google because they’re successful”), they develop a workplace concept that needs to be revised a short time later because it does not meet the requirements.
USE OF SPACE
Back to the home environment: I myself have a blended family. This means that bedrooms are sometimes empty because the children are staying at the other branch. Your organisation also has to deal with this. In fact, the average occupancy of Dutch offices is less than 60%. In other words, a third of workplaces are vacant, and at an average cost of €9,000 per workplace per year, this is quite a problem.While developing your workplace concept, you should assess the hidden vacancy issue within your organisation and how the use of space can be optimised. You can monitor physical occupancy levels over several weeks, or use technological solutions such as sensors. Both methods will give you information about peak times and you can factor this into the design by, for example, creating extra workplaces in the restaurant.
The required floor area can be determined based on the workplace concept and the number of workplaces in your new office.
FACTOR IT IN
As a final step, we recommend that you make sure the workplace concept is factored into the floor plans for the office buildings you are considering as new accommodation. You will notice that some buildings are far more functional than others, allowing you to profit both in terms of functionality and costs.
If you are considering moving or refurbishing your current office, we advise you to take the following steps:
- Identify the advantages and drawbacks of the current working environment.
- Take time to develop a workplace concept that suits your organisation and optimally supports your employees in their activities.
- Monitor occupancy levels and make sure you can provide enough workplaces at peak times.
- Factor in the workplace concept before selecting a building.
We hope we have given you some useful tips that will prevent your employees from having to shower in bed.
Erik TijsmaBlog overview