Office Design

Online Tools to Help Design Your Office Space

David Spence
December 19th, 2017

In today’s world of fast-growing tech companies, local startups and mobile working trends, companies around the world are pushing the boundaries of the traditional work space. Though many businesses are creating innovative and experimental office environments for their employees, it’s important to ensure that functionality is not sacrificed in the pursuit of impressive aesthetics.


To help you in achieve this goal, here are some digital tools and software that will ensure your office space is as personalized as it is productive

Space-specific analytics

When designing an office space, there is an undeniable need for data-driven decision making. Some important questions to consider in your initial planning stages include: which employees are most often present in the office and therefore make consistent use of their workspaces? Are there heavily underused spaces that could serve a more useful purpose? Which teams interact on a regular basis and should therefore be situated side-by-side? Does the office need more meeting spaces on account of meeting rooms being constantly booked up?

Before you start sourcing contractors or selecting new couches for the lobby, it’s important to take a close look at how your company would answer those questions. OfficeSpace’s facility management software can provide helpful reports on space utilization offering valuable insights into how your facility is being used. Additionally, Microsoft’s Workplace Analytics is another tool that can gather insights about team collaboration patterns and the frequency of interactions between departments.

Using a space management tool that offers built-in analytics and customizable reporting lets you design a new office with a solid strategy backed by data.

Inspirational platforms

Once you’ve decided on what changes you’ll make to optimize your space, you can dive into the more creative side of office design. This means pulling inspiration from a wide range of helpful online sources. From bigger picture elements like floor plans to smaller ones like choosing artwork and indoor greenery, get inspired by browsing sites like Pinterest, Houzz or OfficeLovin. Considering the growing number of design-related blogs available online, it’s clear that there’s no shortage of office design inspiration out there.

Floor-plan conceptualization

After finding samples of design concepts that you like the next step is to bring your ideas to life.

Space management software helps you visualize office occupancy and space utilization using real-time floor plan views.

OfficeSpace enables FMs to get creative with their office designs by transferring your unique floor plans into the software for you. If you’re not comfortable using traditional CAD tools, simply use a program like SmartDraw or Microsoft Office Visio to draw up your office’s floor plans, then email the files to OfficeSpace. Within 1 – 2 business days, they will provide you with a new floor plan (if you have finalized your office design) or a scenario plan (if you are still deciding on the finishing touches).

This process allows you to drag and drop people into these plans to experiment with seating arrangements, or they can run reports like the Variance Report, which is designed to let FMs compare scenario floor plans with the live version.

Interior design planner

Once you’ve finalized a floor plan and optimized your space usage, you’ll want to visualize color palettes, furniture setup and the finer details of your office decor. Using customized interior design tools is a great way to plan how to furnish your space. Even better, find a tool that connects you with individual designers who can provide customized interior design help as well as before and after concepts of your decorated space.

Making a move to a newly designed office—or simply renovating your current one—requires detailed planning and a solid, collaborative team. This team needs to include not only in-house staff, but also a comprehensive suite of online tools and software.

When all of these collaborators come together efficiently, there really is no limit to how far you can push the envelope of modern office design.

Looking for more inspiration on helpful facility management tools? Check out these 6 Free Online Tools FM Professionals Need to Try.


Photo Credits: Shutterstock / LStockStudio, Shutterstock / Halfpoint, Shutterstock / wavebreakmedia