Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal — New Jersey — November 14 - 27, 2014 — 8B
N ew J ersey
By Beverly Blum, DesignWorkBuild Restacking your office can save you money
R estacking is defined as the process of mak- ing office space more efficient by changing the floor layout, reducing pa- per file stor- a g e s p a c e and introduc- ing uniform workstations, i n a f e w words “comprehensive space reallocation”. No one just wakes up one day and decides to consolidate its workplace from 9 floors to Beverly Blum
5, or from 30,000 s/f to 18,000 s/f. In most instances, a busi- ness is facing a lease event and therefore has an opportunity to consolidate into less space. Another aspect to consider a restack is to reorganize or repo- sition teams or departments to address a particular business need. A by-product of reshuf- fling the organizations can be to develop the workplace into a broader sense of community for the employees. It can be a catalyst to bigger changes, such as how the business allocates space, who gets to sit where, and can eliminate many of the
headaches that plague employ- ers with generational staffs. Since two of the most ex- pensive costs to a corporation are their employees and office space, it would be ideal if a corporation could find a way to capitalize on both these aspects and become “the employer of choice” thus maximizing the real estate and creating a better more functional space for their employees. The restack must be equi- table for the business. A com- pany should not reorganize one floor while leaving another floor untouched. Don’t create
headaches for the company, find a way to improve every- one’s space, your designer can help with this. Restacking takes the tradi- tional sized workstation of 7x7 (49 s/f) and shrinks it into a tighter footprint of 6x6 (36 s/f), By restacking 100 employees from 49 square feet to 36 square feet you have just created the potential to add 36 more people into the building! Of course we need to factor in circulation, but this can actually increase the population on each floor, thereby reducing the number of floors you require.
A restack is going to in- volve some level of workplace disruption. There’s simply no way around it. But with the proper planning, disrup- tions can be minimized. For example: consider starting a restack for approximately 50 people on a Friday at noon with everyone packed up in boxes. Coordination is a key factor that the designer and project manager will manage for you. Nowwhat about the employ- ees in those luxurious offices? Frustration for the Facility Manager can arise when “cubi- cle people” are being squeezed. Some acceptable methods to restacking across the organi- zational chart would include: doubling up office mates, using demountable walls (movable walls) to downsize the office footprint or even eliminating offices and placing everyone in a workstation. As space is constricted, there is a need for privacy. In order to accommodate the need for speech privacy, private meet- ings, phone calls or interviews we create “huddle rooms” and informal meeting areas. Ad- ditionally, the company should take into consideration tele- commuting. This perk for the employee eliminates the need for an assigned workstation. There are various approaches to hoteling stations, where the individual gets either a roll- ing lockable file cabinet or a locker. The designer can also create telephone booths for private phone calls and touch down stations for those times the employee needs to be in the office on a first come, first served basis. With all this extra room cre- ated you may consider increas- ing perk space to enhance the workplace by adding spaces for a pantry, coffee/tea bar, Zen room, game area, gym, and day- care center. Thus moving closer to becoming “the employer of choice” and attracting talented employees to your company. In summation, as office space becomes more expensive, it is wise to maximize the space available. In many instances re-purposing and re-utiliz- ing existing furniture may be possible in order to restack to a smaller footprint. When restacking is approached prop- erly it’s a win for both the Com- pany and the employee. Beverly Blum is president of DesignWorkBuild. n
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