Put kitchen in the corner, this is where I have it at home. What about rooms for focused work? What rooms? Focused work? An open space will do. They should be happy they have a place to work at all. This is where the juggling comes in: let’s move this department here and that team there. Or is it not the best idea? No, I think we should go back to the previous setting. The architect keeps sketching all the subsequent changes, just to eventually go back to the original layout. But convincing the decision-maker or person responsible for new office design to use the services of an external consultant is often a losing battle. Sometimes we can even hear: “If I could design my home, why couldn’t I design the office?”
What to do then? I always encourage the project leader or CEO to become engaged in the analysis, and then in designing the office, paying special attention to the company’s strategic objectives. At the beginning of any project, strategy is essential. Managers establish targets and contractors work to meet them. Here, their contribution is crucial.
I am also sure that the head of the company or the person leading the project have very extensive experience and know their company inside out. I actually think those people should be listened to, as they can make a huge contribution to an office design. But this is where another question comes in: the fact that they have built their organisation or been with it for many years does not mean they have the best understanding of each process, the work of employees or interactions between them. This is why they should hire external consultants in the first place – to benefit from their knowledge and understanding of the market.
When you are designing an office, micro-management may end in a failure and your new design may turn out completely inefficient. An office is not a home, and 5,000 sqm is not 150 sqm.
Managing Partner | SMART M2
Warsaw, 8 February 2019