Is Parking Becoming The Biggest Office Space Planning Challenge?

Category: Office Design

When we think about office space planning, naturally, we tend to think about interior office design services, because this is where employees spend most of the day. When we do think about the exterior, the focus tends to be on the appearance of the building itself and on things like office branding.

However, while the inside of the building can have an impact on the performance of staff, one of the biggest concerns for employees is the commute. In particular, those who drive to work need somewhere to park their vehicle and increasingly, parking is emerging as the single biggest planning challenge of all.

Needs of Employees

The primary reason why businesses should concern themselves with the design challenge of car parking is because it is something employees need. The inability to park near your workplace can have a detrimental effect on morale, can put talented people off of wanting to work for you and can increase staff turnover rates.

Logically, not all employees are going to opt to drive to work each day, but those who do will need to be able to park nearby. If an office is located in a place without solid public transport links, this becomes even more essential and if there is a lack of public parking nearby, you may need to provide a car park of your own.

Should this be the case, while you are unlikely to need to provide a parking space for every single employee, you may need to do so for a sizeable percentage of them.

It is also worth noting that many of your employees may instead choose to cycle to work, rather than drive. This should be actively encouraged, because research shows that employees who cycle to work are happier and are less likely to be off sick. Therefore, bicycle racks or other solutions should also be provided.

Legal Requirements

In addition to looking out for the interests of your existing staff, as well as potential future hires, parking is also a major consideration when it comes to legal obligations as well. One prominent example of a company that encountered this was Apple, when building their Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California.

According to regulations there, one new parking space must be provided for every 285 square feet of new office space. The result was that Apple ended up using 325,000 square feet on car parking areas for their 318,000 square feet premises, meaning parking actually took up more room than the workplace itself.

Similar rules apply in many other parts of the world too, including parts of the United Kingdom. There may also be legislation in place governing the number of spaces that should be allocated to disabled people depending on the local authority the workplace is in. A high-quality business providing office design services should be able to help you meet any regulations, although it may also be sensible to discuss your design plans with a solicitor as well.

Conclusion

When it comes to successful office space planning, there are many challenges to face up to, but one that is sometimes overlooked is the importance of parking spaces. The provision of sufficient parking can prevent drops in morale and even reduce staff turnover, while also ensuring you comply with any regulations that may be in place. This becomes especially important for workplaces that do not have the best public transport links.


Posted 22nd January, 2018

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