Questions to Ask Before an Office Renovation
Planning an office renovation involves having to answer a lot of questions. Are there any amenities you want to add? Should you have an open ceiling or a suspended ceiling? What would you like your color palette to be? What’s your budget? And those are just a few examples.
As important as those questions are, before you get too wrapped up in coming up with ideas for your new office, don’t forget about the essential things you’ll need from your space. These sorts of things aren’t as exciting to think about as things like cool office amenities, but they are vital to the planning process. Having answers to these sorts of questions will help your design team better understand your company so they can create a plan that fully meets all of your needs.
Workstations & Office Layout
For areas where the most work takes place, it’s essential to understand what your employees do, what their daily routines are, and what they need to be able to do their jobs effectively. These sorts of things will have a significant impact on how the office should be laid out. To help with this, think about these questions:
- How many departments do you have and should any be adjacent to each other since the teams work together often?
- What kind of layout would you like? Would you like a more open layout or will you mostly need private offices?
- If you need private offices, how many will you need? How many need to be window offices and how many should be interior?
- How many workstations do you need and what types and sizes of workstations do you need? (Cubicles, benching systems, desks, etc.)
- Do any departments need to be adjacent to core rooms like IT rooms, copy rooms, or server rooms?
- How much collaboration is there between departments? Will they need collaborative spaces or huddle rooms dedicated to them?
A big problem people commonly encounter when planning an office space is only thinking about their current needs. Moving into a new space isn’t always a practical solution, so when you’re planning a major renovation, it’s important to think about your company’s more long-term needs. What is your total current employee headcount and your projected growth over the term of your lease?
Conference rooms play a vital role in the office, so it’s important to be sure your new conference room will be able to fully support your company’s needs and help your meetings be as effective as possible. Think about these questions:
- On average, how large are your typical meetings?
- Do you need any special equipment in the conference room? (Projectors, smartboards, teleconferencing equipment, etc.)
- Is millwork and/or plumbing required in any of these conference rooms?
- How many conference rooms do you need to support your business? Should they be scattered throughout the office or grouped together to form a conference suite?
Reception areas give visitors a first impression of your office. Make sure they’re welcomed in style — and comfort — by thinking about these sorts of things:
- How many people should the reception area accommodate?
- On average, how many people are waiting in the lobby at a given time?
- Does the reception area need to be secure?
- Will the receptionist sit behind glass or a wall?
- Does the reception area need a coffee station or closet space nearby?
Break rooms serve as social hubs of the office. No matter what department a person works in, whether they’re an intern or an executive, break rooms help bring everyone together and gives them a chance to get to know each other. Keep these questions in mind to make the most of these spaces:
- How many people should the break room accommodate?
- Will the break room be enclosed or open to the rest of the office?
- Will the break room serve other purposes, such as a meeting room?
- What kind and quantity of appliances will you need?
- Would you like there to be other coffee stations around the office?
Don’t overlook all those extra rooms around the office! Core rooms like copy rooms, IT/server rooms, file rooms, mailrooms, and storage rooms are all extremely important for operations and being able to answer these questions will help your design team make sure you have everything you need:
- What core rooms do you have and approximately how large are they?
- For IT and server rooms: What equipment is used and what are the dimensions of the equipment?
- For copy areas: How large is the equipment used? Will this be an open or enclosed space?
- Storage rooms: What will be stored in them? What are the sizes of the items being stored?
- Do you have any special electrical or ventilation needs?
- Where should TVs be located?
- Would you like any areas to be upgraded with features such as glass walls, open ceilings, accent wall materials, or lighting?
- Are you a paperless company or do you need space for file cabinets or other types of file storage throughout the open space?