Don’t let office planning become a terrifying task – our essential guide is here to cover all the basics… Office planning is a bit of an alien concept to most people as it normally falls to specialists to carry out the task. However, there are occasions where office managers, admin assistants or someone else in the office might be tasked with arranging office moves or redesigns to cut project costs. With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at the basics of planning an office space and put together this guide to office planning to help you understand all the terms and jargon you might come across. What is office planning? So first, the basics. Office planning is the process of designing and arranging the office space – helping to organise the office layout for the ultimate benefit of a company. Office plans are produced prior to refurbishment, relocation or office fit-out programmes, to help organisations plan out the location of workspaces, furniture and equipment, in an effort to maximise efficiency, productivity and communication. What is a space plan? In office planning, a space plan outlines how each area of the office will be laid out, how people will use that space and the kinds of activities that will take place in each area. It will also define how people move through the office environment – helping to inform the positioning of furniture, equipment and workstations in the process. This shows just how vital a space plan is for a well-functioning and productive office space. What is meant by the layout of an office? Office layout is a term used to describe the arrangement of office equipment and furniture within the available office space. When creating an office layout, the idea is to arrange the space and the items within it in such a way that the team (and organisation as a whole) can operate at maximum efficiency and to ensure you are making the most of all the space you have. This may mean making the most of your vertical office space as well as your standard floor layout. What is Blue Yonder planning? Blue Yonder is an American software and consultancy company, specialising in supply chain management, manufacturing planning, retail planning, store operations and category management solutions. It produces a range of software packages and solutions, designed primarily for the retail sector. Blue Yonder space planning describes the process of using category management software and solutions from the company to support the space planning process. Designed for the retail environment, it uses analytics and insights about customer shopping behaviour to help businesses develop spaces that boost in-store sales and profitability. These services and solutions can be extremely helpful to those looking to design a workspace, especially in the retail sector. What is a store layout? In the retail environment, store layout refers to the interior arrangement of the store. How a store is laid out – in terms of the floor space, merchandising and tills – has a big influence on shoppers, impacting customer numbers, perceptions, flow and purchasing behaviour.Taking steps to optimise the layout of the store will help to improve sales and drive profitability. The services and solutions Blue Yonder provide can be extremely helpful in this sector. What is a cellular office layout? A cellular office layout is one that utilises multiple, separate offices (or ‘cells’) as part of the design. It’s the opposite of an open-plan office, where all the personnel share the same space. In a cellular office, different departments or individuals will each have their own defined office spaces or rooms, clearly separated by doors, booths and/or screens. What is macro space planning? In the retail environment, macro space planning refers to the floor planning of the store. It covers the positioning and allocation of different product categories within the shop. Micro space planning refers to shelf planning – how subcategories and individual products fit within the shelves and wider categories in a store. What is a test fit? A test fit is a floorplan used to confirm that all the requirements and needs of a layout can be properly accommodated within a given space. It’s a vital part of project planning and is done early on in the process to ensure that all the offices, rooms, furniture, workstations and equipment required by your organisation will fit correctly into the space you have. What are use classes? Use classes are categories of uses for land and buildings, according to the Town and Country Planning Order, 1987. They detail what certain land and buildings can and cannot be used for. This is important to remember when redesigning, moving or refitting an office space. Uses can be changed, but this may require an application for planning permission or prior approval, so it’s always best to check before you start planning. What does B1 use mean? B1 is a category within the ‘Use Classes’ of the Town and Country Planning Order. It stands for business and comprises three sections. Buildings or land categorised as B1 use can be used as offices (other than financial and professional services), for the research and development of products and processes, and for light industry appropriate in a residential area. What is sui generis planning? ‘Sui generis’ is a Latin term meaning ‘of its own kind’. It’s a term used to describe buildings that do not fall into any of the traditional Town and Country Planning use categories – such as theatres, petrol stations, scrap yards, nightclubs, laundrettes, taxi businesses, betting shops and casinos. Changing use either to or from a ‘sui generis’ usage will require planning permission. Home office planning With flexible working now on the rise, it may be that you are looking to plan a home office design rather than a formal office space. For detailed information on home office planning, our essential guide provides all the help you need. Office planning essentials Now that you’ve got a grasp of the basic lingo and essentials of office planning, you should have a good foundation to start your next exciting project. If you need further advice on creating a great office space or you want us to do the hard work for you, head to our contact page to get in touch.