Open Floor Plan, Anyone?

Open Floor Plan, Anyone?

There is much debate about the open floor plan. As you read recently, Compass Commercial moved offices last year, and as we began to search for space, I wanted one that would attract a younger generation of workers—which meant going with an open floor plan. Are you considering doing the same? Here are a few tried and true things to consider when talking open spaces.

As a tenant, you don’t want to have to pay to upgrade your space. The only way to get around this? To sign a five year lease or to find space that already has the correct electrical requirements to fit your needs. When we were looking, we found a beautiful space with hardwood floors. It was completely open, and seemed perfect! We were hoping to install one large desk with small dividers, a system that would allow people to talk to each other, but this didn’t leave room for electrical. We then figured out that we’d be able to situate the desks so that power and internet could be run together in one location, but we still didn’t end up taking the space. See, it would have required many wires running across the floor, or having the landlord core the floor to add the electrical in many locations, something we did not want to pay for. Before you sign your lease, make sure you’ve looked at the electrical, and ensured that it’ll fit your firm’s needs. If you don’t think to do this until after your lease is signed, you can bet the landlord won’t be paying for any further changes.

Another issue to consider is sound. Talking is a big part of what we do, but it can sometimes be quite distracting. We purchased a noise canceling system for our offices, which consists of little speakers strategically placed throughout the office. Our system has four levels of white noise, and can be programmed depending on how many people are in the office at a given time and how loud the noise level is at any given moment. It’s been a great system for us, and helps to cancel out the chatter of the every day. So far, so good!

About the Author

Lynn Drake’s status is well known in the industry: She’s the commercial realtor focused on maintaining “true north” for her corporate clients. It’s a reputation built on 35 years of commercial real estate experience. Lynn became a commercial realtor in 2001 after 15 years in corporate real estate. Thus far in her career, Lynn has successfully completed over 1,500 real estate transactions ranging from small business tenant leases to the sale and purchase of industrial complexes.