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Appendix B - Using Blueprints to Help You Plan

A blueprint of the new space or an exact scale drawing of the office layout is essential and will serve many purposes. Have at least six copies made. You can take the original blueprint to a copy shop and have it reduced if necessary.

  1. Office Layout and Assignment Planning
  2. Space Planning
  3. Electrical, Telephones and Computer Planning
  4. Color-Coding System Planning
  5. Sample Blueprints

1. Office Layout and Assignment Planning.   On the first blueprint the Floor Space & Office Layout Manager should map out the office assignments, departmental areas, common work areas, file rooms, warehouse and storage areas, closets, reception areas, lunchroom and break areas, recycling areas, entrances and exits, and smoking sections. If parking spaces are assigned, be sure these are noted too. Label work areas with employee names or initials. Once finalized, post the blueprint in a highly visible area so all employees will know where they will be located.

Partitions are another way of giving employees low-cost privacy when office space is at a minimum. You may wish to partition large open areas to maximize space and privacy. There are many sources of reconditioned partitions that look as good as new.

2. Space Planning.   Another copy of your blueprint will help the Floor Space & Office Layout Manager plan floor space for office furnishings. Make small scale model cut-outs of desks, chairs, tables, file cabinets, bookshelves, plants, computer stands, and other furnishings. Have employees draw directly on another copy of the blueprint how they plan to position their desks and other equipment. At the same time, ask employees to submit a "wish list" of new purchases and work these into the final layout. The Floor Space & Office Layout Manager should determine, for example, if the space in the copy room is sufficient to house a large copy machine and paper supplies, tables supporting printers, fax machine, paper cutter, as well as a coat closet and employee mailboxes. If not, make plans to change the layout of this room, or work with the builders to expand this area.

There are a number of inexpensive software packages on the market to help you design your new office space. An alternative to these are office layout and planning kits, available at major hardware or building supply stores. They can be purchased for under $20 and include scale-model office equipment, furniture, and floor plans. You can also use standard graph paper to plan the placement of your furniture and equipment.

If your company is growing, the Floor Space & Office Layout Manager and the New Office Furniture & Equipment Manager should form a committee to make recommendations on new office furniture and equipment purchases. Start by tallying the "wish list" of furniture and equipment mentioned above and selecting a small group of employees to shop for new items. The committee should work with the Budget Manager to determine a budget, and check pricing with office supply houses, refurbished office equipment dealers, and discount computer suppliers. Keep in mind that many bargains can be found by taking advantage of auctions, garage sales, and going-out-of-business sales. Meet regularly to discuss findings and schedule delivery of all new purchases to your new location after you move.

Your warehouse, storage, or inventory areas will require some planning as well. If your warehouse area is an open one, solicit bids for shelving, tabletops, bins, and other things to improve shipping, receiving, and inventory control. The Warehouse & Inventory Manager should take the time to assess these areas and forward all quotes to the Budget Manager.  Return to Top

Copyright Notice. Portions of OfficeSpace.com's Moving Guide have been reprinted with permission from The Small Company Moving Guide, authored by Diane Touleyrou.


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