Space plays a key role in employee productivity. How a work environment is laid out and organized goes beyond aesthetics and should take comfort, accessibility of resources, and traffic flow into account. A space that’s cramped will limit movement and breathing room, not to mention contribute to stress levels. Meanwhile, an office that has too much floor area might have poor engagement and eventually suffer from high overhead costs when staff counts fluctuate.
As businesses welcome more flexible working arrangements that do not require people to be at the same desk 40 hours a week, space optimization is a top priority. Nobody wants to keep paying for under-utilized space. Some companies have adopted a fully remote setup to reduce operating expenses, but those who still want a semblance of an office prefer the flexibility and convenience of shared workspaces and serviced offices.
Let’s talk about the different office space optimization strategies to ensure that your employees are happy, healthy, and productive, while keeping your costs low.
What is Space Optimization?
Space plays a key role in employee productivity, and space optimization is the design approach that targets efficiency. Office space optimization should not be confused with utilization, which merely refers to how much space your employees are using compared with the total space available within your office. For example, you can have an office space optimization plan to serve 10 employees in a space originally designed to hold 75.
Office space optimization takes into account other factors that can affect office productivity, such as traffic flow and engagement. It leads to an area where all individuals have equal access to resources and tools needed for their tasks. A space that follows space optimization principles is efficient, supportive to employees’ health and productivity, and cost-effective over the long run.
5 Office Space Optimization Tips For Enhanced Productivity
When space is optimized for communication, it is also optimized for collaboration. By planning your office around what keeps your employees motivated and equipped to work, you are several steps ahead toward productivity. Here are some tips on optimizing your office space and resources.
1. Give employees room to work on their own terms.
As long as you’re not losing out on productivity, it’s perfectly fine to allow your staff members to use space in the way that’s most comfortable for them. Whether they want to sit by themselves or with a few colleagues, whether they like working at an open space or within closed quarters; adapt space to accommodate each person’s needs and preferences.
This will ensure that everyone is satisfied enough to perform well. For example, some employees might prefer individual cubicles so they can have their personal space where they can store important items without anyone trespassing. Others may find it uncomfortable working alone all day, making teaming up essential.
2. Don’t neglect storage.
Make sure to make room for bulky items that, ultimately, can be distracting and counter productive. Think about your commonly used equipment and supplies, including printers (if you regularly print documents) and scanners (if you handle paperless transactions) that may sit on your desk.
A storage space will also come in handy if your business conducts seminars or workshops on site; space designated as breakout rooms is usually required. It may even be necessary to build separate spaces within the office just to store some of your stuff. That way, you’ll free up space for other office activities, like meetings or collaborative efforts, that encourage teamwork among employees.
3. Furnish smartly.
The office furniture you choose for space optimization can have a big impact on how people perform. It’s important to go with products that are space-efficient and ergonomically designed to ensure workers’ well-being.
For example, a team leader looking to create an open space where employees from different departments can come together should consider investing in long tables that have no center pedestal. This design allows workers to face each other while keeping the table low enough so they don’t have to crane their necks or strain their back just to look across it.
Another smart choice is stackable chairs which take up less space than conventional ones, while allowing staff members to move around easily if they want another coworker nearby during group discussions.
4. Consider coworking spaces and serviced offices.
Many businesses choose coworking spaces and serviced offices over a conventional office to enhance space optimization. A coworking space is more or less an open space where individuals from different companies can share the same location and resources. A common ground for many would be having Wi-Fi on site, but they also have additional perks such as opportunities to network with other professionals, get new ideas on how to improve your process or product, and have access to shared equipment like printers which may not be included in your rent package.
Serviced offices are different from coworking spaces because they usually cater to one company only and provide not only commercial space rental but also business support services, like IT and communication infrastructures (telephony and internet) and administrative tools (software, stationery).
The benefits are many, and one great advantage to employers is that coworking spaces can be booked daily, weekly, monthly or however long you need. At a time when staff counts are constantly shifting, not being tied to an annual lease on a property helps business owners manage their overhead expenses according to the times.
5. Always consider office ergonomics
While space efficiency and productivity are both important considerations when working with office space optimization, remember that human needs always come first. Designing an office space takes into account the physical and mental well-being of employees, which means they must have space that’s not just for computers but also to move around comfortably.
The layout of your space affects productivity, so it is important for you to carefully plan space utilization. Using space optimization software can also help visualize your area before you set up objects inside. You may choose to get space planning apps or use floor space planning tools online for free.
A Well Optimized Space Leads To More Productive Teams
Office space optimization is all about creating the right office space that will boost productivity among staff members while reducing operating costs. It’s possible to achieve both with coworking spaces or serviced offices because they are geared toward small businesses looking for ways to optimize their space.
Contrary to what many believe, space optimization is not just about cramming as many people in one space as possible. Instead, it emphasizes how space should be used according to the different needs of the people working there. If you’re smart with space management, you’ll see an improvement in productivity which will surely reflect on the growth of your business.
MAC6 offers plenty of options for independent staff and small to large teams looking for flexible office settings that will support their needs at the moment. We have private offices for individuals, office and coworking suites, coworking desks, virtual offices, and private suites for enterprise users. We also provide warehouse spaces for clients with larger production needs.
Contact MAC6 today to book a tour.