The world knows that the office is changing. This unrelenting update on the traditional working environment can be attributed to many different factors, but two seem to dominate the discussion; the new workforce, and the need to increase revenue.
Many organizations fall prey to the often senseless gullibility that the only answer to a changing working environment and lagging revenue is to move shop to a modern office that can accommodate a larger number of employees, thus increasing profitability via more brainpower and square footage. This is not always the case; new and updated offices can cost considerably more in rent per month, minimizing any potential increase to revenue.
Revenue is directly linked to three distinct aspects of office life:
In this post, we’ll take a close look at how space planning in the office can result in an increase to revenue.
What Is Space Planning?
Office space planning is a creative methodology that uses innovative interior design to maximize the efficiency of office layouts so employees can work together and separately to optimize the flow of space, and communication. Space planning provides the best opportunity to not only better utilize existing spaces to address issues of inefficiency, but also seeks to create a more suitable and enjoyable space for employees and clients.
Space planning directly increases revenue by increasing the potential for collaboration, communication, mobility and use of modern tech to boost billable hours and employee productivity without increasing the overhead costs associated with operating an office. Space planning is all about devising a way to plan an existing office to better support organizational needs now, and into the future. In short, it’s the re-imagination of current space to better serve an evolving working population.
Why is it Important for the Success of Your Office?
Space planning impacts offices in two major ways. First, it allows offices to experience incremental growth without lifting the corporate structure to a new, unfamiliar space; and two, it boosts flexibility and productivity by attempting to solve problems in the physical operation of office space.
Space planning also allows offices to better use the skill-sets of the best industry talent. In law offices, for example, younger talent require an agile workspace that allows them to alter their surroundings at a moment’s notice with minimal supervision to complete specific tasks. This is achieved through space planning for maximum mobility and the supported use of efficient modern technology.
Space planning affects every aspect of a business, from maximizing use of underused areas, increasing the flow of overused areas, and planning for all available space – it reduces overhead costs and allows offices to grow without having to move. Let’s look at it from another perspective utilizing gross revenue divided by number of employees: an office is 10,000 square feet but the business is experiencing rapid growth.
The company needs to find room to hire an additional 5 employees. The problem is, a new space means an increase to monthly rental fees and other overhead. Any office or company that sells brainpower can benefit from the implications of space planning. This can mean law, tech, retail, creative services, consulting, etc. Space planning comes into play when we consider that by better using existing space, those 5 new employees can be hired, increasing revenue for the company and impacting financials, while the cost of rent stays the same. This increase to revenue is a direct benefit of space planning and its power to optimize office layouts.
Employee & Client Benefits
Quality working environments are a definite requirement of emerging top talent. The incoming millennial workforce is not only the single largest employable demographic in North America, but they come with their own set of workplace expectations that revolve around work/life balance, new and innovative spaces that foster creativity and collaboration, and workplace environment wellbeing.
Space planning helps to address these requirements by directly correlating their working concerns to better use of space for increased flexibility, innovation, mobility, and flexibility. Space planned work spaces allow employees to customize their surroundings and maximize their workflow in the best way they see fit, largely independent of supervision or needing to be present at a desk. Space planning can take into account the benefits of increased exposure to natural light, the presence of greenery, collegiate-style spaces, and coffee shops.
Further, office space planning benefits organizations by ergonomically and stylishly designing a comfortable, trendy, and productive workspace to inspire team collaboration. Not only does this benefit the employee perspective of the office environment, but it also benefits prospective clients by providing the best first impression possible.
When a client enters a newly re-imagined workspace to find thoughtful colour theory in use, and flawless integration of employee time and space, they’ll be impressed with the thoughtfulness and resourcefulness of the organization. Presenting a client with something that’s fresh, genuine, and out-of-the-ordinary is just the ticket for inspiring confidence in your organizational goals and abilities.
What is Leading the Charge?
New technology allows for improved efficiency, connectivity, and the potential for increased billable hours. When employees are able to connect to work from home, on weekends, and after-hours, the ease of completing minimal tasks results in additional work hours that feel less formal and less stressful, contributing to a better work/life balance. Integration of technology with one’s personal life can increase office revenue by allowing employees the chance to access work away from the office setting.
Working remotely and with mobility are two big demands from more and more employees these days. Increased mobility alludes to the desire for more autonomy and independence from physical working environments and supports an increase in billable hours and increased organizational revenue.
Alternatively, mobility can also mean granting employees the freedom to work from wherever they want within the office, free of a designated desk area. By gifting the ability to make adjustments to their working environment every day, organizations can expect increased collaboration, productivity and efficiency resulting in boosted revenue.
Agility in the workplace contributes to an increase to revenue by inspiring flexibility in working styles. Flexibility also helps from a physical standpoint by reducing the amount of misused, or underused space, increased workflow and revenue with an increase to potential employee numbers, or optimization of current employees. Flexibility also means the freedom to work where and how one pleases, contributing to employee satisfaction and increased productivity.
The answer to the workforce/revenue conundrum isn’t in a new space, but in how we’re able to use these three pillars to maximize the functionality and potential of our current spaces through space planning.