By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
The most challenging aspect of workplace optimization is finding a floor plan that meets the demands of all employees. It needs to enable employees without hindering management. It should be cost-effective, without being detrimental to culture. It has to be flexible, yet defined. There are numerous push-pull relationships involved in space planning, which is why modern businesses use office floor plan software.
Space modeling ensures minimal disruption until everyone agrees on a floor plan that works. Office space planning software gives facility managers the tools they need to address common issues of balance. Software makes it easy to identify problems in a current seating arrangement, as well as understand options for improving them, including the following:
1. Cramped office seating
Cramped seating is often the product of growth—companies grow larger and add staff to existing space to put off a larger lease for as long as possible. It isn’t until employees are quite literally tripping over each other that more space is added or the company moves.
Office seating plan software not only helps businesses recognize when they’ve reached the need for expansion, it can also unlock more creative solutions—aside from adding space. Space planning software might show that workbenches can accommodate more staff in the same amount of space, while still offering opportunities for some flexible and private workspaces. Or, it might show disproportionate seat allocation in the stack plan. That can help the company better use existing space .
Cramped office seating eventually correlates to a drop in productivity, friction, and other negatives. Space planning software helps address issues more quickly, so these problems don’t have time to fester.
2. Lack of workspace flexibility
When building an agile workplace, individual workspaces need to be as agile as the people using them. This means instilling flexibility throughout the work environment by looking at current spaces and their context within the office.
By providing a top-down view of the workplace, floor plan software helps facility managers see opportunities for flexibility. Some examples include partitioning a breakout meeting area, adding hot desks to a specific floor, or relocating departments or groups nearer to the facilities they use most. Space planning software pairs known needs with new insights, bridging the gap between the two through proper workspace realignment.
3. Too much unused space
As much as having too little space can affect productivity, having too much space impacts the balance sheet. The workplace is the largest fixed cost for a business, making it imperative to cut back on unused or unnecessary square footage.
A digital floor plan creator can help space planners consolidate seating into a smaller footprint without affecting productivity. From macro to micro changes—stack planning to individual seat allocation—it’s easy to understand necessary space vs. total available space when it’s all laid out in front of you on screen. From there, it’s a jigsaw puzzle of fitting people, desks, and spaces together to trim away the excess space.
4. Declines in productivity
If employees don’t have the types of space they need to work efficiently, productivity can suffer. An office layout planner is a great tool for looking at what types of spaces are available, where they’re located, who’s using them, and how they’re used. Combined with sensor data or usage statistics, there’s no better way to evaluate potential changes to the workspace as a way to bolster productivity.
Space planning software also helps determine why inefficiencies arise. Cramped workspace? Lack of a certain space type? Distractions or poorly designed workspaces? These issues are easier to fix when they’re part of a comprehensive picture.
5. Lack of space oversight
Even when changes aren’t required, it’s important to understand the space you have. A common problem is not having a clearly defined picture of facilities or understanding how they function. Space planning software improves direct oversight of space management, which highlights what the workplace needs to function and grow effectively.
At some point, every business will face one or several of these problems. When they do, office floor plan software may be the optimal solution. The right approach will please all parties, alleviate constraints, and enable maximum returns. The beauty of using software to model the solution is not having to constantly try and retry concepts in practice. Minimal disruption and a smart solution is a winning combination for solving common space allocation problems.