Friday, November 30, 2007

Space Allocation at “The Office”

Greenette’s post about our dear friend Milton got me thinking about the workplace as it’s demonstrated in the popular media. I couldn’t think of a lot of examples off the top of my head (I'll keep working on it), but one thing I have noticed is that many movies and television programs show open office space, rather than enclosed.

One of my personal favorites is the American version of The Office. While they’re not too green in many respects (notable exception: NBC’s green week), they do have one thing going for them: the ratio of individual workspace to shared space.
From the best I can figure, the space program is (Office fanatics please post and let me know where I’m off!):

  • 1 enclosed office

  • 1 reception desk

  • 11 workstations, mostly low or no wall

  • 1 large reception/lounge area

  • 1 large conference room

  • 1 break room

  • 1 large pantry/break room

  • 1 storage area (open)
For a small office (fewer than 15 people), this is a lot of shared space…and also something that we recommend to our clients: by giving up individual space, everyone benefits. Not only are there more amenity spaces (like The Office’s two break rooms), but there are also more spaces to support teamwork and collaboration. AND, there’s less real estate required.
For another day: Lessons Learned from The Office – what not to do.


Kevin said...
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Kevin said...

I wouldn't mind working in "The Office." I think they have more than 11 workstations too! If you count: three just in front (at it's fullest, where Jim, Dwight and Ryan were situated.) Three just behind (Stanley, Phyllis, and Andy.) Three near Cread (both the breast feeding mother and the convict sat over there.) Three in accounting (Kevin, Angela and Oscar.) And we can't forget the HR area with Toby, Kelly and the desk where Ryan was eventually banished! So, by my count I think 15! And most can see outside, which I can not do at my work :( Of course, they are teeny tiny so I am not sure if where they sit constitutes as a workstation, or the tables they share.

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