June 28, 2024

Mastering Office Space Planning: 7+ Tips for an Optimised Fitout

Maybe you’re moving into a new office space. Maybe your team is growing. 

No matter your situation, how you design and utilise your office space can future-proof your business for growth and expansion, possibly saving you money in the long run.

Thoughtful, strategic office space planning can transform your workplace into a hub of productivity and creativity. The physical space that your business occupies can tell a story, honing in on your brand, mission and vision of the business. It can also be an enjoyable place for everyone to work in; and a place that impresses your customers or clients. 

What follows are tips, ideas, and office space planning advice we provide and implement for our clients, helping them achieve an affordable and optimised office fitout. In the end, you’ll be well on your way to designing an efficient and inspiring workplace.

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1. Understand Your Fitout Needs

A great fitout out starts with a thorough analysis of what you, your team and clients need in a workspace. Assess the size of your current team and lay out any projections of future growth. Spend time understanding individual needs and workstyles and use this information to inform fitout design. You want to make space that can accommodate diverse workstyles and offers flexibility as your business grows and evolves.

Consider the type of work being performed on the premises. Are there any roles in your company that require specific equipment or space requirements? Do you need private spaces to interact and meet with clients? Is the work you do mostly collaborative or siloed? Listing out all of these needs will go a long way towards informing the design and final style of your fitout.

2. Set a Realistic Budget

With the above considerations in mind, look at putting a dollar sign to every element of your fitout design. If you’re not sure where to start, we have ample resources to help you get a general idea of what your fitout might cost.

Weigh your budget heavily towards the ‘must haves’ in your fitout design. For offices, these would be areas that would have the most significant impact on productivity and employee satisfaction. For retail and other client-facing fitouts, allocate your budget towards features that enhance the customer experience. For all projects, no matter the industry, some budget should be set aside for unexpected expenses (in the rare case that they arise).

It’s okay to not have all the answers right now. Part of the Canopy Fitouts process is being completely transparent and candid about fitout costs. We’ll work with you on a comprehensive quote before starting the project. We also forecast and plan for unexpected contingencies and work to mitigate these risks before they even happen. Where necessary, we offer alternative, cost-saving options for clients looking to stretch their budget in certain areas. 

Recommended Reading: Fitout Costs Explained: How to Not Break Bank on Your Office Fitout

3. Optimise Office Space Utilisation

You can make the most of your office space without it feeling cramped and overcrowded. The open plan is ideal for spaces that need to flex and adjust to a diverse set of working requirements. When planning your office space, incorporate flexible workstations that can be adjusted for various needs. This could be a hot-desking model where team members can log in from any available monitor. Or create office pods designed around specific work activities. 

The fitout we completed for Guest Group makes the most of this concept. Private spaces for solo work lead out into public spaces designed for collaboration between architects, designers and their clients. Having a separation between private and collaborative spaces ensures everyone on the team stays productive throughout the day.

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4. Choose Custom Storage Solutions

You can never underestimate how much storage space you need. Custom-made storage may fit your office proportions perfectly compared to store-bought shelves. These items can be bought at a cost-effective price. Consider your spatial requirements and fitout your office with custom-built joinery and multipurpose furniture with cabinet integration. Take advantage of vertical wall space to keep the floor area uncluttered.

Multipurpose furniture can also function as additional storage units. In the fitout we completed for Cocolocks, space was at a premium. The entire floor plan served a functional purpose for the business and its clients, limiting the areas that could be used for storage. To compensate for this, we designed and engineered a new set of floating beauty workstations, which were seamlessly mounted to ceiling sliding tracks and could be moved away to the side at any point. Auxiliary to the sleek features, we incorporated hidden sliding trays into the workstations for storage.

5. Use Light and Neutral Colours in Office Space Planning

Avoid visual chaos and opt for light and neutral wall and decor colours to achieve optimal productivity and positivity around the workplace. Dark colours can create a feeling of being cramped and closed in. Where possible maximise the amount of natural light that enters your space. Light can make your office fitout look and feel more spacious and inviting. Light and neutral colours can work to bounce and reflect natural light deeper into the office space.

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6. Incorporate Flexible Partitions

Transparent partitions or partitions with the use of greenery are a flexible way to designate workstations in a small office space. Use glass or transparent partitions to maintain an open feel while providing necessary separation. Greenery has been shown to increase productivity and reduce stress, and integrating plants into partition designs can be a natural way to improve air quality. 

If you need a flexible option to accommodate a variety of work situations. Moveable partitions can section off areas of your office fitout for various purposes. When a big meeting or event occurs, these partitions can be repositioned to create more space.

7. Create Privacy Hubs

Need a space for meetings and important phone calls away from the hustle of the office, why not invest in a pod? Privacy pods and booths are sound absorbing and are a great solution to avoid the daily hustle of the office when you need some peace and quiet. Instead of investing and designing a space with multiple quiet rooms, privacy pods can be a cost-effective solution to incorporate into your office fitout.

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8. Plan for Future Growth

Businesses grow and change. And the way we work is always changing. A fitout is a significant investment into the future of our business and while its design is specific to your needs, it should be able to flex and grow as those needs change. 

For our clients, we implement long-term, scalable fitout solutions to meet needs they might not foresee in the present day. This could be modular furniture or an office layout that can be easily reconfigured over time. 

With most commercial leases lasting 5 years or more, we prioritise creating a space that looks ahead to future trends in work while remaining contemporary and functional for your current needs.

How Much Office Space Do You Need?

While the Building Code of Australia requires a minimum of 10 square metres per person, the way that space should be laid out is largely intangible. 10 sqm per person looks and feels different in an office, shop, medical centre or any other industry. What’s important is that this should be a guideline to inform your design, helping you avoid possible workplace health and safety issues in the future.

Keep in mind that necessities (e.g. emergency escapes, air-conditioning, commercial appliances) could impact the way you utilise your space.

Simplify Office Space Planning With Canopy Fitouts

Embarking on an office fitout can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. A thorough analysis of your office space planning needs can help you get a better idea of what your space could look like. And we’re here to help at every step of the way.

Want to learn more about what makes a great fitout? Check out this guide. If you're ready to start planning your build, speak to our team today and we’d be more than happy to give you advice on cost, budgets, requirements, and timeframes for your office or commercial fitout. Give us a call at 1800 434 868 or email info@canopyfitouts.com.au.