How to Solve Office Warehouse Space Planning Dilemmas

Have you found yourself contemplating how much office space you truly need? Or, maybe you are curious about trends in office design. The APPRO & CERRON team has compiled some helpful resources to assist you through your next office space planning project. In Part One of this two part series, we focus on the Office Planning portion of these spaces.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Identification of Space Planning Dilemmas
  • Solutions
  • Getting Creative
  • Resources Available


Space Planning Dilemmas

So, let’s first start with what is keeping you up at night. Are your team members crowding into offices or cubicles, and you find yourself scratching your head, trying to figure out where you are going to locate your next new hire? Or, are you on the reverse side of that dilemma – finding yourself with excess office space: private offices that go unused, or cubicles that collect cobwebs? Do you have some traditional office space in your building – private offices around the perimeter, with shared cubicles in the center and are considering a different design configuration? Have you been checking out the “cool office” design pages (e.g. Mpls./St. Paul Business Journal – Cool Offices Page) and wondering if it might be time to address your office space that was designed decades ago?



Trends come and go in design – it is what can make it all so exciting! Yet, there are some tried and true aspects to space planning which transcend current trends. So, let’s start there, and then move onto trends you can incorporate, once your important space planning goals have been established.

calculator.jpgThe first consideration is the minimum amount of space needed for your staff. The following link to a space calculator gives an idea of approximate SF needed per person, per role, in a typical office. You will also need to consider space for common areas like breakrooms, restrooms, and work or file rooms, and meeting spaces like conference rooms. The space calculator is simply a starting point, and selecting an architectural design team, early in the process is an important next step.

According to a recent article published on LinkedIn, “Adding the architect to your leasing team early in the leasing process to develop reliable space requirements (before you begin looking at potential lease spaces) can make all the difference in leasing the proper size and type facility for your company” as stated by J. Edgar “Ned” Fennie Jr., in an article titled, “Office Planning Guidelines: How much space should we really be looking for?” Fennie goes on to state, “Make sure your selected architect understands your culture, business goals and workflow and has the expertise to guide you through the programming process. This will ensure you have an accurate heads-up picture of your space requirements.”

Calculator Image Designed by Freepik

Additional considerations include site, layout, amenities, and much more. Having a checklist of considerations can be very helpful during the planning process, and can help tremendously during conversations with your design team.


Once you have worked out the type of space you need and have set your basic goals and parameters for the space you desire, you may want to also factor in some additional considerations, including design trends, previously mentioned.


Get creative

If you are not ready to commit to a long term lease, you may want to consider leasing a  short(er) term lease space (e.g. – Apple Valley Executive Suites).

5885 149th St W AV Exec Offices (3).jpg

With more staff working from home, could you make use of shared space?

Shared space vs. private space – more companies are using large collaborative spaces and at the same time, carving out small private meeting spaces.

Check out Forbes magazine, “10 Cool Office Spaces” article for examples of changing spaces and a few fun additions to the office environment. On a similar note, a couple of us from our office recently attended a Valuations seminar by the Minnesota Real Estate Journal, and learned that some offices are installing fun features like ping pong tables and one location, even had a “keg-erator” installed.


Office Space Planning Examples

Check out some of our recent office projects for ideas:

Grazzini (completed project)
Hearth & Home (completed project)
Midstates (portion complete; ongoing work)
Growing Colors by Gardenworld (ongoing current project)


 Next Steps…

When you have decided how much space you might need, or that you require some assistance in making that determination for your team, contact our design team or our real estate team to start a conversation about your space needs. You may reach our team members at the following: