In a struggling economy many organizations are faced with reducing capital costs while maintaining or increasing operational goals. These pressures have led many to begin reevaluating their current workspace needs. Companies may have an over abundant amount of real estate with no tangible way of deciphering exactly how much; combined with reduced workforces, they can't afford to take time figuring it out. So consequently they continue to pay for unused or wasted space each month. In addition to this, they continue to pay for the operation and maintenance of these unused or wasted spaces. Or perhaps the company is growing, maybe even bursting at the seams, but they’re not confident enough in the economy to make a change.
Plan for Good Design and Reap the Benefits
These scenarios make up almost 75% of current US workplaces. When these organizations do decide to make a change, many are missing the single most important element in the puzzle, the value of good design. We all know that initial costs are important, but when budgeting for a project it is critical that organizations plan for good design. On the cusp of a move or change, organizations have an incredible opportunity to reshape their brand, culture, and process – it only makes sense they would want to allocate time with a professional to make sure their new space embodies these elements in both tangible and intangible ways.
Flexibility to Adapt is Key
What works well now, will notwork well in the future. A common mistake many organizations make when contemplating a move or change is to duplicate what they currently have or just shift it slightly to make it “fit” into the new or refurbished space. They forgo the initial investment of thoughtful, cutting edge design for up front savings but, in turn, severely compromise the productivity, efficiency, and life cycle of their entire workspace. Investing in a credentialed design professional that can address current issues and plan for future issues will pay for itself within the first year, but more importantly will continue to deliver long-term savings for years to come. Cutting edge design doesn’t have to be flashy, expensive, or even contemporary… it just needs work in the now and the future, something that only a trained design professional can provide.
Credentialed Designers Maximize ROI
An early evaluation of workplace productivity and efficiency can go a long way in making the overall result much more desirable. When an organization involves a credentialed interior design professional in the beginning stages of a project and allocates time for them to work with end users, they increase their productivity and efficiency by 30% more than if the design professional was engaged later in the process. (1)
Throughout this early evaluation process the design professional can also start to identify areas of wasted or unused space, in addition to targeting areas that can shrink in size while retaining or increasing their productivity and efficiency. In some offices, as much as 40% of usable floor space is wasted or underutilized and up to another 20% is sometimes being taken by out of date or unneeded paper filing storage. (2)
Turn Wasted Space into Productive Space
If a standard lateral file cabinet takes up 4 square feet, ask yourself how many of these you have scattered throughout your office… now think about how many you actually need vs. how many are holding items that could easily be thrown away, put into storage, or filed electronically. The results are usually shocking.
Space that is not used to generate revenue is effectively wasted and interior environments that are not inspiring and stimulating effectively decrease employee morale and thus productivity and efficiency. These are issues that can not only be addressed, but also significantly improved upon with the investment of good design.
(1) Goetzel, R.Z., Juday, T.R. & Ozminkowski, R.J. (1999). What's the ROI? A Systematic Review of Return-on-Investment Studies of Corporate Health and Productivity Management Initiatives. AWHP's Worksite Health. 6(3), 12-21.