Office Space Rationalisation
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/ Office Space Rationalisation: Maximising Efficiency and Productivity

Office Space Rationalisation: Maximising Efficiency and Productivity

Dr. Greg Dooley - Design and Build Specialist

Dr Greg Dooley

Digital Marketing Manager

Content Specialist in Office Design & Build

You may have taken your space before the pandemic with a lease lasting several years. You’re not alone – that’s an issue many of our clients are exploring. So what can you do? It starts with space rationalisation – optimising your space to meet current requirements and future-proofing it for ongoing change.

There are lots of options. It starts with a detailed brief with goals, aspirations, issues and problems that you’re looking to solve. This article serves as a guide to take you through some of the issues you’re currently facing in relation to the use of office space and some of the issues you may have yet to consider – a sort of checklist of things that you maybe haven’t considered.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of office space rationalisation, the steps involved in implementing a rationalisation plan, and key strategies for optimising office space. We will also address common FAQs to help you better understand the process and make informed decisions when implementing office space rationalisation in your workplace.

  1. What is Office Space Rationalisation?
  2. Benefits of Office Space Rationalisation
  3. Steps to Implement Office Space Rationalisation
  4. Exploring Ideas for Office Space Rationalisation

What is Office Space Rationalisation?

Office space rationalisation is the process of optimising the space that you already have. It’s using the existing office space to enhance productivity, collaboration, and cost-efficiency. It’s also about how you plan office space to make it work better for your company and staff. This involves assessing the current space utilisation and identifying areas of inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement. By redesigning the office layout, implementing technology solutions, and promoting flexible work arrangements, businesses can create a more efficient and effective workspace.

Office space rationalisation is vital for companies looking to improve productivity and reduce costs. A well-designed workspace can enhance employee satisfaction and engagement, leading to higher retention rates and reduced absenteeism. It can also lead to cost savings on rent, utilities, and other overhead expenses.


Benefits of Office Space Rationalisation

Office space rationalisation can provide businesses with a range of benefits, from improving productivity and employee satisfaction to reducing costs and increasing adaptability. Here are some of the key benefits of office space rationalisation:

Improved productivity and employee satisfaction

A well-designed workspace can improve employee well-being and satisfaction, leading to higher productivity and engagement. Office space rationalisation can help businesses create a more productive environment by optimising the use of space, reducing clutter and distractions, and creating designated areas for specific tasks. By removing unnecessary furniture, equipment, and other items, employees can move more freely around the office, collaborate more effectively, and enjoy a better overall work experience. Additionally, office space rationalisation can provide employees with more natural light, which has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and boost productivity. By opening up the workspace, companies can create more open and flexible workspaces that encourage collaboration and teamwork.

Reduced costs

Office space rationalisation may, in some instances, result in you using less space to do more. For example in creating a hybrid workspace with more collaborative areas (and non-address workspaces) rather than large individual offices and workstations. This could result in keeping your existing space rather than moving offices.

Enhanced collaboration and communication

Office space rationalisation can promote collaboration and communication among employees, leading to increased innovation and creativity. By creating more shared spaces and removing physical barriers, employees can work together more easily and effectively.

Increased flexibility and adaptability

Office space rationalisation can provide businesses with more flexibility and adaptability in responding to changes in the market or workforce. By using modular or multi-purpose furniture and technology solutions, businesses can quickly adjust to changing needs and demands.


Steps to Implement Office Space Rationalisation

Implementing office space rationalisation involves a series of steps to ensure a successful and effective process. Here are the five key steps businesses can take to implement office space rationalisation:

A Detailed Brief

While the issues of space utilisation are shared by many, every company and office space is unique. We always start the process with a detailed analysis of your precise requirements, ambitions, timescales and budget. This begins by asking you questions about your wants and needs. We listen carefully to your brief and then find the best way to address it.

  • We assess with you all the options. Oftentimes it’s not just about spec (high, mid-low spec) it’s about design options and use-purpose
  • We listen carefully to you and try and understand your needs and wants
  • We then come up with ideas and design
  • A balance of options

Assess the use of current space and occupancy

This involves collecting data on how the office space is currently being used, including the occupancy rate, space utilisation, and common areas of use (collaborative areas). This information can be gathered through surveys, space utilisation studies, and occupancy sensors (see our article on smart office technology).

Identify areas of inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement

Once data has been collected, businesses can identify areas where the current workspace design is not efficient and find opportunities to optimise space. This can include areas of low utilisation, overcrowded spaces, and inefficient furniture or technology arrangements. We have decades of experience and our team can help bring you up to speed with the latest issues products and solutions.

Develop a space optimisation plan and explore ambitions

Based on the data collected, we can help companies develop a comprehensive plan to optimise space and set specific goals. This plan should include a detailed timeline, budget, and action items to achieve the desired outcomes. Implement the plan through redesign, technology, and policy changes: The plan can be implemented through various means, such as redesigning the office space layout, introducing technology solutions, or changing workplace policies. This can include implementing hot-desking or shared workspaces, promoting remote working, adopting modular or multi-purpose furniture, and promoting sustainable design (also see our article on circular economy in office design).

Ongoing Evaluation

To ensure the plan is effective, it is important to regularly monitor and evaluate the results. Typically these results come from data within the workplace, surveys, and anecdotal employee feedback. Based on the results, the plan can be adjusted and updated to ensure continued success.


Exploring Ideas for Office Space Rationalisation

Office space rationalisation can involve various strategies to optimise the workspace and improve efficiency. Here are some key ideas businesses can consider:

Non-address workstations (Hot desking)

Hot desking (non-addressed workstations) and shared workstations involve having employees share workstations and office space. This can help reduce the amount of unused or underutilized space and provide employees with more flexibility and mobility.

Hybrid working

Hybrid working is a promising solution for office space rationalisation. By allowing employees to work from home or other locations outside the traditional office, businesses can reduce their real estate footprint, save on overhead costs, and maximise the use of existing office spaces. Hybrid working also provides employees with greater flexibility and work-life balance, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and productivity. However, a successful hybrid working model requires careful planning and communication to ensure that employees have access to the resources they need to work effectively, regardless of where they are located. This may involve investing in technology and infrastructure to support remote work, establishing clear policies and guidelines for communication and collaboration, and offering training and support to help employees adapt to the new working arrangement. See our article on hybrid working.

Modular and multi-purpose office furniture

Modular and multi-purpose office furniture can provide businesses with more flexibility and adaptability in using space. For example, modular workstations, chairs, desks, and whiteboards can be easily reconfigured to accommodate different team sizes or projects.

Green and sustainable office design

Incorporating green and sustainable design elements, such as energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, can help reduce overhead costs and promote a healthier work environment. By implementing these key strategies, businesses can create a more efficient and productive workspace that can help drive business success.

Next Steps

We have extensive experience in space rationalisation. We listen to your needs by asking you the right questions and helping you find solutions. As an essential first initial step, we meet with you in the building to discuss your project plans. A lot of the feasibility assessment begins with the building – an understanding of the power and data distribution, light sources (natural and artificial), drainage, ceiling height, the condition of the HVAC systems and the age and condition of the building. We provide a balance of options for their clients, ensuring that the final design is both cost-effective and functional. If you would like more information or would like to plan a site visit, please get in touch below.

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