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5 Things to consider when building the brief

By Mar 9, 2021Mar 14th, 2021Food for thought

It is often the case that clients are not sure what their office needs are. They know how many people they have to provide workstations for and the size of the space, but rarely do they have a clear brief regarding the type of workstations or the layout or most importantly what they want to achieve with the office upgrade.

Here are a few questions we like to ask to get a better understanding of a client’s needs before we do a layout and propose furniture solutions.

1. DO YOU WANT TO THE OFFICE UPGRADE TO PAY FOR ITSELF?

The opportunity to invigorate and enhance your workspace does not come often. Rather than just upgrading the equipment there is a massive opportunity to design a custom layout with practical furnishings that allow people to effortlessly move from one task to another, without being slowed by an ill-conceived layout or poorly placed tools and furnishings.

Think of the upgrade as an investment (because it definitely shouldn’t be an expense). The right layout, furniture/tools and ergonomics will result in a more productive, happy and healthy workforce. Your Return on Investment will be a more productive and positive team.

Now we can get into the tangible stuff.

2. DIVIDING THE SPACE:

How much floor space do you have and how do you want to divide the space? More specifically how many employees will share the open-plan and how many will need a private office?

Are you allocating space to meetings/reception/kitchen/canteen? And how many people does each space need to accommodate at any given time?

3. THE EMPLOYEES & THEIR WORKSTATIONS:

How do your staff currently work, describe their desks, what works and what doesn’t?

How does your staff like to engage with one another? Do we need to create neighbourhoods to make it easy for different teams to work together? Do any of the staff need to do more focused work, or do any of them deal with privileged information and require more privacy?

Do they have laptops of desktop computers? Do they need desktop power? Do they have a lot of paperwork and need storage?

4. OTHER PRACTICAL FURNITURE:

What kind of barriers (can be partition screens, planters or storage) do you want to bring in? If you cannot space people more than 1.5m apart then you need to add a partition screen (barrier).

What kind of general storage do you need? Do you want planters on top of your storage?

Where will the printer be? where will the server go? Is there a switchboard/fire escape that needs to be clear of any furnishings?

5. COMMUNAL AREAS:

MEETINGS: How do you meet and what do you need? i.e. TV screen/whiteboard/soundproof/notice board/seating?

Have you considered Anti-bacterial surfaces for meeting/shared spaces? FENIX

LUNCH: Where do people go to have their lunch break or smoke break or make their coffee? How can this space be used to help build the team dynamic?

RECEPTION: What does your reception need to best serve a walk-in client/customer? Should there merely be a counter or do you need a waiting lounge as well?

PRACTICAL: Have you considered Sanitisation stations in your reception area?

Is there storage for all the cleaning products? Often a kitchenette isn’t enough to store the vacuum cleaner/brooms/mops/buckets.