With the new focus on offering flexible office schedules, more amenities and a choice of workspaces to empower employees, creating an effective office layout has become more complicated than ever before. Fortunately, you can use today’s workplace planning and visualization technology — along with expertise — to get your space just right.
The shift toward mobile working, for example, has reduced the amount of space the typical office needs. In the average office, the typical desk is occupied only about 60 percent of the time. No wonder the old standard of a 1:1 ratio of people to desks is being replaced by a preference for 2.5 people per desk.
New advances in space planning and visualization technology are making it much easier to act on these sea changes in workplace design. But, even the most cutting-edge workplace planning tool is more effective when it’s implemented by a human who understands how and why to use it.
Visualizing Your Office — in 3D
Once you’ve determined what space you need, it’s time to design an office that will deliver the best employee experience. What should it look like? How will you know if everyone is going to fit? How long will build-out take and how much will it cost? The answers are easier to come by with today’s new walkthrough and rendering technology.
You can use an application to visualize any office scenario, whether with any array of assigned cubicles and offices, or with the kinds of activity-based environments that signify more forward-looking workplaces. For example, offerings like InSite or Foyr enable you to create a 3D rendering of space. InSite offers an experience similar to virtual reality, minus the goggles. Pick a starting point within a floor plan and enjoy a 360-degree view as you wander down a hallway, into a conference room, a lounge or wherever else your virtual feet take you.
What’s more, as 2D floor plans become a thing of the past, the commercial real estate industry is moving rapidly to smart building information modeling (BIM). Providing detailed building information, BIM allows your architectural team to create build-out specifications directly from a 3D visualization, eliminating inefficiencies and improving workflow.
Investing in Tech Now Saves You Later
A highly realistic 3D visualization experience is only one benefit of advanced visualization and planning tools. When accessible to everyone from the broker to the planner to the architect to the designer, a rendering can foster collaboration around a shared vision and, ultimately, bring it to life.
With a thoughtful combination of people and process, visualization tools can make the whole office design process easier, more accurate and faster — and that can help reduce costs, too. With automated budgeting capabilities, you can see in short order what a design spec will mean for the bottom line. JLL InSite, for instance, draws from cost data collected from more than 2,800 projects across 59 markets to estimate an accurate and all-encompassing budget.
What’s Next with Fit-out Tech?
On the occupancy planning side, promising advances are bringing greater accuracy to the forefront. Indoor positioning technologies can be used to reveal insights into how and where different teams work together to inform space planning. On the visualization side, architects can plug 3D renderings into their computer-aided design software (CAD) to better consider a building’s peculiarities.
Regardless of where the future of work takes us, technology inside buildings and in the workplace is changing how office space is used. To keep up with ever-changing workforce desires and needs, fit-out technology now offers workplace planners useful tools to create productive workplaces more effectively than ever before.
Susan Wasmund is a Managing Director within JLL’s Integrated Portfolio Services (IPS) group, leading the firm’s Occupancy Planning practice. In this role, she is responsible for client relationship management and the health of 50+ Occupancy Planning accounts.