Space Planning

Over 80% of businesses today did not even exist 15 years ago. What a dynamic economic marketplace exists today. As corporations grow, flex, and change many opportunities and challenges are presented to those individuals responsible for space planning and space reengineering.  
Work tasks and methods are being redefined as a result of rapid technological advances and business growth. How does the space planning professional bring together each element to insure an effective work environment within bugetary and time schedule requirements? Employee satisfaction, employee turnover, and ability to attract the best new employees needs also be considered. These employee factors are not easy to quantify, so the space planning professional must balance many factors to result in the most optimum office facilities attainable. 
Todays office layout is certainly much different than that of our predecessors. The hierarchical chain of command with its rigid structure has given way to one of team concept with managers and executives being much more accessible to other employee team members. 
This change in hierarchy is probably more the result of the dynamics and rapidity of technological breakthroughs in an increasing global marketplace. Whatever the underlying forces maybe certain trends are evident. 
Open plan/Panel/Flexible systems now constitute almost 60% of office layouts and growing. Privite offices about 35% and decreasing and many more may soon become dinosaurs. Bullpens account for the remaining 5% of office layouts. 
Senior management and middle managers have increased their use of open plan offices. Fitting more people in less space is a consistant goal. Senior clerical, general clerical, professional and technical workers have increased office space size. Firms are realizing that those workers with specific tasks which require more space to be effective are being given more consideration to insure proper job task performance.  
The space planner must optimize within budgetary considerations these elements: 
      • workflow
      • juxtaposition of team groups
      • communications
      • workstation furnishings
      • workplace ergonomics 
      • lighting 
      • heating,ventilation, & air conditioning
      • noise levels
      • electrical & electronic subsystems
      • flexibility & growth
      • interior design of walls, partitions, ceilings & flooring
      • support equipment
      • privicy factors
      • informal & formal meeting space
      • workstation equipment requirements
      • workstation storage and organizing accessories
The space planner needs the support of the whole organization. To accomplish the best possible results the space planners support team will include interior designers, facilities managers, top management, industry professionals, line management, administration personnel, contractors, and concerned others. 
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