Thinking from start to finish
Finally, the plan for your office building has been finalised! A big moment for the client often means a lot of problems for the office furnisher and designer. They usually only become involved a few months before construction starts, after the building floor plans have been finalised. Questions such as how the rooms should be used and how many workstations are needed in each of the rooms are usually given the most prior consideration. The fact that modern offices require special floor plans that allow for a larger room depth is often disregarded. The necessary discussions and communication are often not given high priority — as they really should be nowadays — in the planning of many buildings, for example for so-called middle zones in open plan offices.
'The office furnisher has to work with the floor plans provided and also manage fulfil all legal requirements', explains Günther Osterhaus, Head of Planning and Project Management at ASSMANN Office Furniture, who can speak from his own experience. 'It's a shame, because frequently it would have been possible for us to suggest better solutions for creating optimal working conditions for employees — a company’s most important asset'.
Plan first, then implement
'If you first conduct a needs analysis, you will have better knowledge of employees' needs and will thus be able to create workspaces that meet their requirements', advises Günter Osterhaus. In so doing, important factors can be taken into account, such as the decreasing tendency for employees to have their own set workplaces. Single offices are becoming less and less common. Workbenches, areas where employees can change between different seats each day, are becoming increasingly important. Important tools that employees need every day can be stored in a mobile container, which they simply take with them to the new workspace.
The Quality Office Consultant
The office furnisher profession no longer involves simply selling office furniture. Architects and clients want solutions, so end-to-end concepts must be created. The subject of office furniture is so broad that for some years now ASSMANN has even been offering a special training course: 'Quality Office Consultant'. This is a specialised training course that builds upon a standard programme of studies in architecture or interior design.