What is workplace analysis: How to ensure you maximise your space for the best results

Workplace analysis is a study that was developed by Rapal Oy in order to discover and assess the efficiency of space usage. The study, which is now a benchmark review, focuses on analysing an office by observing the space including how much each area, chair, etc. is utilized by staff as well as the employees needs and satisfaction rates concerning their environment. Once the data is gathered, a design company can use the findings to create a workplace that reflects the needs and wants of both the company and it’s employees. The analysis also provides another positive result – by discovering exactly how much space an office needs, a company will save money by getting rid of ‘wasted space’.

A term that has been introduced over the last decade is “activity-based offices’. Activity-based encompasses workplaces that bring employees together at desks, around collaborative furniture and in open meeting rooms in order to encourage movement and team building. Studies have shown that these offices promote mental and physical health, thus boosting team morale and business performance. By observing the movements of employees, an accurate design approach can be implemented, bringing positive results all around.

What defines a space?

- Chairs
- Desks
- Walls
- Meeting rooms
- Recharging areas
- Temporary seats
- Couches
- Cafeterias
- Coffee rooms
- Lounges


Whilst all of these elements can contribute to an office, some of them may be unnecessary.  During a workplace analysis all of these areas will be assessed.  During a measurement, activities will also be measured. This allows the designer to learn about what kind of work people do in different work settings, meeting rooms and other spaces. The end goal of a work place analysis to is to ensure efficiency of design.

In order to achieve optimal efficiency, there are three stages of a measurement: preparation, performing walkthroughs, and viewing results. Extensive training is given to all those that conduct observational studies in order to ensure that interpretation and gathering of the data is systematic and coherent. It is vital to lead all office designs towards an activity-based workplace, but the style and shape will vary due to differences in work culture, thus the analysis is an important step in deciding what changes need to be made.

Activity-Based workplaces also enables “over booking” of work seats and flex-work policies that give employees the freedom to work outside the office, which frees up office space and allows for areas to be utilised in more innovative ways. 

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