When a business grows so much that it needs to add more office space, it’s a sure sign that management is doing things right. Expansion can be a make-or-break project for the company, leading either to more efficient operation or to cost overruns and disaster. Here are four things you should know when you’re involved in an office construction project of any size.
Plan Ahead for Managing Special Features
Your project may incorporate some innovative or distinctive features. There’s nothing wrong with moving beyond the cookie-cutter cubicle model or the standard hallways and offices, but when you have things like a central atrium, you need to be thinking ahead about how to manage things like a scissor lift hire for cleaning, replacing lights, and so on. Get a feel for those costs and the availability of those services before you commit to a design.
Traffic Flow Matters
Because of technology like email and shared document platforms, we often forget about the need to interact with co-workers in person. While it’s true that there isn’t nearly as much foot traffic from desk to desk as there once was, we still need to support interaction between employees. Properly grouping workers by functions and then grouping functions logically will dramatically reduce the time wasted in moving from place to place.
Utility Bills Are Forever
You may have ideas for large windows or dozens of recessed lights to enhance the building’s appearance, but design elements like these will add to your operational costs long after their novelty wears off. Instead of adding energy-hungry features “just because”, think instead about how to incorporate efficient features that will reduce the cost of lighting and climate control.
Expansion Should Be a Goal
It may seem unduly optimistic to think about how you’re going to expand an office building that you’re just now constructing, but some thoughtful planning now will result in cost savings later. Consider the available land around your building and anticipate where an additional wing might be constructed at a later date. Then discuss this potential with your architectural team and have them design the adjacent areas of the building in such a way that a future expansion will be easier to build.
Constructing a new office building is an intense and demanding process. With so much going on and so many decisions to make, don’t lose sight of some of the long-term considerations that will make the office more efficient and cost-effective in years to come.