Office Space Planning

Published on: Author: Anne Langton

Effective office space planning requires preparation and thought. It is not just a matter of getting furniture to fit.

In many ways, designing an office is very similar to organizing as office.  Both are solution driven.  Both work with stuff.  Both require knowledge of how people function in the space and what they need to work.

Office space planning is about two things…FIT and FUNCTION As an interior designer and an organizer these are two concepts that i love to sink my teeth into!  Let’s start with the basics…

FIT

A little planning in this area goes a long way.  It seems pretty obvious to say a piece of furniture must “fit” but you’d be amazed at how many will “eyeball” dimensions rather than take a tape measure to confirm them.  Also when measuring space for something that will be sitting on the floor (and be quite snug), don’t forget to measure at the floor.  The 3/4″ thickness of wood baseboards has been the downfall of many unsuspecting planners because they measure wall to wall and not at the floor causing them to be short 1-1/2″ from an exact dimension. 

Another piece of advice when space planning your office and furniture equipment…don’t forget to calculate how the unit will get into the space.  Take into account narrow doorways, stairways, and elevator cab sizes.

Fit also takes into account…space required for circulation.  Is there enough space for the copier to be serviced for example.

FUNCTION

Space planning is a mental game in which you carefully break down the activities that must accommodated.  In doing so, you will get an idea of the equipment and furniture required as well as the pertinent adjacencies needed for each type of activity.  Don’t forget to plan for supplemental storage needs.  Efficient traffic patterns will also dictate location of furnishings and equipment

And lastly be open minded.  You might have your heart set on a round conference table but the existing wall configuration is better suited for an oblong table.  Also existing conditions in your office area may determine other issues such as specifying the most functional type of file drawers i.e. vertical file drawers vs lateral file drawers. 

Langton Designs creates offices that work well and feel right