Designing New IT Offices
Iíve been given the opportunity to expand our I.T. Department office space before the end of the year. Weíre getting a new staff member and we havenít got anywhere for them to work (and not really enough space for us now), so we thought weíd renovate our offices as a whole. Iíve been given the option of expanding into a soon-to-be-unused small classroom, which is easily enough space. I want to use the space well though, and do as much as I can on what will be a small budget.
Iím a bit out of my depth with this sort of thing though, Iíve never had to rethink an office space before, so I was wondering if anyone out there has had to design or redesign a space for IT workers? If so, have you got any good ideas, good resources (books, websites etc)? Iím open to anything except making it look like Googleís offices. That would be cool, but letís be realistic eh?
All suggestions welcome!
Normal desks for working obviously.
a filter / front desk to deal with impatient "i need it now" trivial queries
build / test area for building or testing machines etc.
coffee/tea facilities and a fridge.
lots of data points
storage space for spare parts? books? frequently used cables? etc.
If you have spare room how about a training cluster? Just a few computers that you could have a department at a time in to be able to give training. Would only need a corner or one wall but could help expand your CPD offering (SLT love that term).
I am thinking about junking our desks here as our office is dominated by them. We have a thin office so they squeeze us out to the sides. My current idea is to setup benching on both sides so we effectively have a huge work area along both sides, loads of network points and power sockets and mount our workstations on these. More room to store stuff, more open office and less squeezing past each other.
What is the size of the room?
What are your requirements?
Some points to take into consideration:
Storage - even if you've storage elsewhere, having "most often used" items in cupboards near by is a godsend
Workbench - having a build area in your office allows you to kick off imaging and monitor it while you continue working at your desk, also allows hardware maintenance in a secure/safe space.
Power/network points - there is no such thing as 'too many'
Security/confidentiality - is the area securable when no one is around, and can you avoid being spied on while you are in there?
Whiteboards - if you can have them, put them in. team brainstorming/explanations are much easier with one.
For my new office, I'm aiming for 19" racks underneath my benching, then I can mount assorted IT equipment, lockable drawers or shelves, as needed.
Originally Posted by Speculator
All very solid ideas. I'm actually getting quite a decent list, I'll post back here with the results when I've completed my research (a lofty term for asking questions in a few forums).
The whiteboard idea keeps coming up again and again. It made me think - I knew you could get backboard paint, and it turns out you can get whiteboard paint too - why not pant a whole wall to make it a surface you can write on?
Don't forget about cable management with the desks and benches. I would also recommend having at least one desk at bench height (900) for doing work while standing and make them deep enough as well (at least 800). And I recommend wall mounting monitors (VESA) to save as much desktop space as possible and keep cable clutter to a minimum. Don't forget about adequate lighting either especially for working on the guts of a computer, etc. small magnetic boards for laying screws onto while working on computers are also handy as are having proper tool kits. Everyone has already mentioned having plenty of power and data and storage and I second those suggestions.
The whiteboard paint is a good idea, but it isn't cheap. If you can afford it go for it, but not at the expense of something else you really need.
As @seawolf said, it's pretty pricey - also you'll need quite a few coats to get a proper usable surface. We had a meeting room here with a stripe of it down one wall - and even though that had 3 or 4 coats, after a few months it just started looking grubby and not cleaning properly.
Originally Posted by Speculator
I think one of the biggest challenges is your desktop not being over looked.
I got to plan and get built our offices, my key considerations was storage, repair area, privacy for screens and storage again!
How did you get on @Speculator ?
Funny you should ask.
We moved into our new offices a couple of weeks ago. It's been great, we did the work on a budget but still got a lot out of it.
A rough account of the transformation is here - tisit-innit.tumblr.com
I think - along as the new office has one (or more) of these - then I don't think it matters!!
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