After staff, office space is likely the biggest expense felt by most growing tech companies. As demand grows and so does your staff, office space utilization becomes a hot commodity. Knowing that you’re using your existing space in ways that support and suit your growing needs is key to making use of every square inch of the space you have.
Making adjustments to office aesthetics by altering furnishings and floor plan strategies that improve space utilization from horizontal to vertical is a good place to start. Storage, organization, decluttering, and repositioning space to suit the changing demands of an ever-evolving workforce can hugely help growing tech companies to develop their offices into spaces that suit their changing needs.
What is Office Space Utilization?
Office space utilization is the process of understanding how and why existing office space is used, and underused by its organization, and combating wasted space with new ways to better utilize extra square footage through redesign, re-imagination, and shifts to layout and existing spaces.
Tech Office Design
In modern tech office design, office utilization rates typically range between 60-70% – meaning 30-40% of existing space isn’t being used well during a typical workday, and when office real estate is usually one of the top two expenses for most organizations, managing office space is key to increasing efficiency, and reducing costs
The majority of modern tech office designs are activity based working (ABW) offices and they’re continually growing in size and scope. These types of office spaces are divided into different areas to support different working styles and tasks.
- Quiet spaces
- Shared workstations
- break / common rooms
- conference /meeting rooms
This allows staff to pick and choose where and how they choose their time, and lends itself well to determining which spaces are taken advantage of, and which ones can be placed on the chopping block to better utilize the space.
Find Out What’s Working
When companies take stock on continual space utilization measurements, they’ll begin to see trends and collect data to help save space, energy, and costs. Once or twice per year, measure space utilization to help identify areas that can benefit from further development, and make corrections to address usefulness and productivity.
Horizontal to Vertical Layout & Storage
Horizontal office layouts are inevitable. People need space to work and space to move around. But office space utilization is as much about practical storage solutions as it is useable work environments. Transitioning existing storage solutions that get in the way of everyday employee traffic aren’t very practical, or an efficient use of floor space. Vertical storage solutions are organized, space efficient, and allow growing tech companies to make use of freed up floor space for collaborative work spaces, or private work zones to hire new staff to keep up with demand.
As the millennial workforce continues to dominate the employee landscape, more and more eco-friendly staff will end up biking to work as a way to reduce their carbon footprint and save money. An increase of bikes in the office space can be easily combated – and aesthetically pleasing when vertical wall storage for staff bikes is implemented in entrance ways and/or common areas. The aesthetic is charming, gives a sense of the identity of the office, and gets a bunch of bikes up and out of the way.
Cloud storage technology and digital file sharing has largely done away with the majority of physical paperwork, especially in the tech sector – so eliminating old school filing systems is another great way to free up some traditionally spoken-for space. Use vertical shelving units to store tech-related publications and references for employees in a vertical manner not only saves space, but it also gives eye-level access to employees seeking information.
Floor Plan Changes
Sometimes the office outgrows mismatched furniture or items that take up too much space. Agile interior design in the office is meant to boost square footage, accessibility, and productivity by giving employees the ability to choose where, when, and how they work, eliminating any shred of preconceived obligation to sit at a specific desk location all day. Eliminate the majority of stand-alone desks, and increase floor space and freedom for your growing staff.
Collaborative work zones, open concept common space, and private zones demonstrate agility in the office by re-evaluating existing floor plans and optimizing office space by allowing people to be mobile, to change one’s surroundings, and to explore differences in working environments.
If your collaborative spaces are being used a lot, but quiet spaces are seldom used, make some changes by better utilizing some quiet space as additional collaboration space in an effort to make room and ramp up productivity.
Agility in your floor plan uses a combination of adaptability and mobility to encourage employees to use existing space in ways not traditionally supported. When tech office space layouts embrace human personality and spirit, style, efficiency, and practicality often emerge.
Modular furniture options re another fantastic way to maximize office space utilization. Modular furniture is mobile, portable, and multipurpose, allowing it to take the place of multiple bulky furniture pieces. Height adjustable desks and privacy walls are perfect examples of space-savvy furniture that can quickly and easily transform spaces for growing teams while keeping the bulk of traditional furniture to a minimum.
When your tech office design isn’t working, it’s costing your company money and stopping your staff from having access to the space they need to maximize their efforts.
As your tech company grows, spaces will inevitably have to change as demand for more optimized working environments becomes more and more noticeable. The first step to maximizing office space utilization is always taking a step back to recognize what you’re dealing with, and where advances can be made. Don’t be afraid to change things up, it’s good for you.