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Planning for Mobile Offices

by Keith Fentress / May 21, 2015

In my last article on planning for mobile offices, I presented example furniture and facilities for employees that predominantly work individually or with others in a dedicated workspace. Today, I review the principal furniture and facilities needed for employees that work in small groups or larger teams in multiple locations within the organization.

As listed in the Facilities Matrix in Programming Mobile Office Facilities, the principal furniture and facility elements needed for this type of work practice are touchdown stations and huddle rooms. This type of furniture and facility is required to provide accommodations for employees that spend the majority of their time in a collaborative work environment with other employees. Since time spent at an individual desk is minimal, the emphasis is on huddle rooms. Huddle rooms are full height enclosedPlanning for Mobile Offices - Fentress Incorporated spaces, often with glass walls to allow natural light to penetrate the room. It is often desirable to cluster the huddle rooms and provide demountable walls in between to maximize flexibility in use for small groups or large teams. Normally, a smart white board and video conferencing capabilities are included. This type of facility would be provided on a 2.5:1 ratio (approximately 2.5 collaborative personnel per huddle room). This would yield approximately four rooms for every ten employees that work collaboratively. Touchdown stations (to be described in greater detail in my next blog) would be provided at a minimal ratio of 5:1 (approximately five collaborative personnel per touchdown station). Thus, there would be a minimum of two touchdown stations for every 10 collaborative employees. Of the three work practice categories, this category requires the greatest amount of constructed facilities in lieu of freestanding furniture.

The following layout and illustration depict examples of a typical huddle room and touchdown station layout for this work practice type when applied to 30 staff members. This layout includes 14 huddle rooms and six shared touchdown stations. As suggested in the previous paragraph, the huddle rooms are arranged in clusters separated by demountable walls. These walls allow the huddle rooms to be used individually or combined into groups of two or four to accommodate a variety of meeting sizes. The touchdown station area is supplemented by personal storage units located behind the desks for temporary storage while an employee is using a touchdown station. Informal lounge seating is also provided nearby. The lounge seating provides an optional space, when planning for mobile offices, in addition to the touchdown stations where an employee can relax or work informally during a meeting breakout period. In addition, the overall neighborhood allocates a small amount of space for more permanent file storage.

Touchdown Stations and Huddle Rooms for 30 Staff Members

Layout Planning for Mobile Offices - Fentress Incorporated

Sample collaborative space layout when planning for mobile offices

In my final article on planning for mobile offices, I’ll look at the principal furniture and facilities required for employees that predominantly work individually or with other staff from home or in the field.

Space Reduction Analysis Here!


Tags: Flexible Workspace Mobile Workforce Solutions Space Reduction and Utilization

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Keith Fentress

Keith Fentress

Keith Fentress is the founder and president of Fentress Incorporated. He has an extensive history of consulting to real property organizations. His skills include organizational development, program evaluation, and business process improvement. He enjoys outdoor pursuits like backpacking, canoeing, and snorkeling.