Sol Harris Day Architecture

Benchmarking - How does your office compare?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
By Matt Sutter, Chief Executive Officer
In Design, Planning

Benchmarking - How does your office compare?
Benchmarking - How does your office compare?
Benchmarking - How does your office compare?

Take a look around your office environment. Is the space used efficiently? Could you reconfigure to be able to be more effective in how the space is used and how teamwork occurs in the office. Does everyone have a view out the window or do only a select few have offices that limit access to light for those in workstations? How does your office environment compare to others in the area. What have others done to create an efficient, productive space that is an enjoyable place in which to work.

With our experience in office workplace design, we offer the following information in benchmarking against others in the Midwest region of the US...

Private offices or workstation?
Having a private office has traditionally been a reward for achieving a certain level of achievement in the corporate structure. Many companies have now changed this. Offices are either limited to executives or people who consistently meet with other people in a confidential way. The average private office to workstation ratio is 1 private office for every 9 workstations.

Office Size
A traditional office might be 12’x20’ or 240 square feet. The new standard office size has become 10’x12’. This provides enough space in the office for a desk, side bar work area and a rear work area. The 10’x12’ office also allows for two additional chairs for visitors, positioned across from the desk.

Workstation Size
Workstations comprise the majority of space in an office setting. The size of a workstation is critically important in determining the size of the building. The two most common workstation sizes are 6’x6’ or 6’x8’. In some cases where larger format media is used in the workstation an 8’x8’ workstation is typical. This might be appropriate for engineers or graphics professionals that need to have large format drawings at their workstations

Workstation Wall Height
In years past, a typical workstation wall panel height was 6 feet or 6’-6” tall. This facilitated isolation from other people in the office with some very strange “personalization” of workstations. The new typical wall panel height in new offices is 50” This allows for seated privacy, but visual connectivity when standing.

Workstation Adaptability
Have you heard the saying “Sitting is the new smoking”. Studies have show that sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day has certain health consequences. Standing height / adjustable height workstations have become standard throughout offices. 15% of workstations have this flexibility. Some companies have installed adjustable standing height desks at 100% of their new workstations.

Phone Rooms
With the increase of open, workstations, private phone rooms are common. Employees that are in workstations sometimes need to make private calls or focus on something for a short period of time. These private phone rooms are implemented at 1 phone room for every 15-20 workstations. They are generally sized no larger than a 10’x12’ private office and can be converted to an office to provide built in flexibility in office planning.

Mothers Rooms
Many new mothers rely predominately on breastfeeding their infants at least through the age of 12 months. Rooms with a comfortable chair, a sink, power and a refrigerator allow mothers to pump at work in a private atmosphere. Mothers rooms are implemented at a ratio of 1 per 150 employees.

Quiet Rooms
Employees that become overwhelmed during the workday as well as those that suffer from migranes can benefit from a place to reset and relax. This ”reset” increases productivity when returning to work. Quiet rooms are generally implemented at a ration of 1 room per 250 employees.

Views to Outside
The LEED rating system assigns point values if 90% of all occupied spaces have views to the outside. This has become a standard goal for new offices that are constructed.

These are just some of the benchmarking comparisons that we use to help clients achieve a very productive workspace and create a corporate atmosphere that will retain talented employees.

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