Striking just the right office style balance for you

March 19, 2018 Kelsey Burgess

Building out your office space can be overwhelming – not to mention costly. So many decisions need to be made, from office layout and space allocation to the quality of finishes and amount of design work. To make these decisions less daunting, we’ve harnessed our business intelligence data in order to bring you the U.S. and Canada Office Fit Out Guide, a report that compares build out costs across different office style and space qualities in order to give tenants a sense of how seemingly small choices can affect the bottom line in a big way.

How you design your office has a lot to do with the type of industry you’re in. Emerging tech firms tend to go the progressive, completely open floor plan route, while law firms will more likely lean towards a traditional style with plenty of private offices. If your desired office style falls somewhere in between an open floor plan concept and a traditional office layout, you’re looking for a moderate office style.

With a mix of efficient sized workstations and limited private offices, moderate style offices can typically fit 20-25 percent more people in the space than traditional offices, but 20-25 percent less than progressive style offices. And because you’re striking a balance in the design and complexity, a moderate style fit out costs $158 per-square-foot on average. This falls between the average of $152 per-square-foot for progressive styles and $177 per-square-foot for traditional. A moderate style also tends to have an agile floor plan with 10 percent of the total square footage allotted to enclosed offices and the remaining 90 percent dedicated to an open floor plan with workstations, minimal benching and guest space.

Offering private offices, cubicle banks, a healthy mix of conference rooms, communal areas and sound-proof rooms where employees can go to concentrate on solo work provides employees with a little more flexibility and independence than the progressive style offers and a lot more collaboration than a traditional office can offer.

At the end of the day, it ultimately depends on the individual company’s culture, priorities and overall goals. For example, Westminster Savings Credit Union opted for a moderate office style when it decided to consolidate two of its offices into one larger one to meet its growth targets. The financial services firm needed private offices to ensure its customers’ privacy, but it also wanted an open floor plan with dedicated collaboration and multi-use spaces to not only open the lines of communication, but to also attract top millennial talent coming into the workforce. Taking on a more hybrid, moderate style, it was able to achieve all of its ambitions and more.

If you’re looking to strike a balance between a completely open floor plan and traditional private office, a moderate office style may be just the right fit for your organization. For more information on how location, office style and space design can impact the cost of your office build out, check out our 2018 U.S. and Canada Office Fit Out Guide.

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