When seeking office space, a company must first determine the square footage needed and the best way to maximize the use of that space.
Many companies think about their employees in terms of “per SF” rather than how to achieve the best performance out of those employees in the office environment they are trying to create.
Companies like Google and Pixar have disrupted the traditional thought process of space planning. Instead of creating an office space to fit X number of private offices, Y number of cubicles, and a conference room, they have designed their space to nurture and encourage innovation and collaboration. This novel approach is not exclusive to companies in the tech industry, but can be applied to most fields that are willing to remove the inherent hierarchies that exist within the traditional office layout.
Naturally, a competitive job market that is hungry to recruit top talent has demanded that most companies adapt to this new way of designing office space. Since many high-quality applicants interview with multiple companies, setting yourself apart as an exceptional leader that places an importance on employee well-being can help distinguish your company and assist with recruiting. There has been a definitive shift compared to 5-7 years ago, and we are witnessing an office sector that is leaning more on the “designer” input and philosophies of architecture firms to determine the best layouts that maximize efficiency, not only on a cost-per-square-foot perspective, but also considering employee performance as well.
Companies are experimenting with adapting new office layouts that include the following:
- Removing hierarchy and status symbols
- Better amenity space
- Open areas on the glass to allow more natural light
- Lower/eliminate cubicles, bench seating and hoteling
Not everyone can be Google with bean bag chairs and hammocks, so what is the middle ground?