Approaching Your Boss about Changing Your Office Space

Don’t like the way your office is set up? Now might be a good time to suggest to your managers that making changes are what is needed to not only improve employee morale, but collaboration as well. If you want to make changes, don’t procrastinate. Instead, make a plan to work efficiently and bring your boss a proposed solution to the office space conundrum. Below are some tips to help you approach your boss about changing your office setup and move towards a solution that will benefit everyone.


Do Your Research

Before you even propose something to your boss, you need to come up with a plan of action. Do your research about different types of offices, or major companies who have had success in their office arrangements. Cubicles separate people from each other, creating isolation but also allows for focus on work. Open office plans allow for more movement and choices on how they work but could be a danger to attention spans and productivity. Now, major companies are having employees sit in clusters of mixed individuals to create a space for discussion and collaboration. But, this all depends on the type of work you do and the amount of office space you have. Certain configurations will be easier, and cheaper to do than others.


Describe What You Want to Do

Once you have your plan in place and have done your research, it’s time to approach your boss with your ideas. Provide a general overview to your problem, and showing the impact that a bad office space has on your work, work production, and company goals. Your boss should be impressed by your forward thinking, confidence, and problem solving. Make sure that you stay respectful while you are discussing your potential ideas with your boss, even if they turn you down. Maybe now is not the time, but you can potentially bring up your ideas in the future.


Discuss Benefits

By focusing your efforts and conversation on concrete examples of your idea’s benefits, you will have a higher chance of being successful. Use examples of Google’s developed office space with a huge list of amenities including free food, collaborative desk spaces, and more. Or how Mozilla has a ‘four work model’ in their office design for focus, collaboration, and social. Or show your boss statistics about how the most employee accommodating companies are some of the most secure, with the happiest employees, and happy employees have great benefits for companies. It has been shown that around $50 billion is lost each year by companies from unproductive employees. At this stage, you’ve already gone over the specifics of your plan and now it is just about showing the benefits of your plan, and any results you have found.


Identify Your Solution

Explain to your boss that you have already tried to figure out the problems and present your office space solutions. You can recommend the approach you think is best, along with some alternatives to give your manager options. Clearly defining each option, giving your opinion as well as pros and cons, and discussing any risks or barriers is key to showing your boss that you’ve considered all the possible outcomes. Be explicit about how your ideas of changing the office space will have far reaching effect on the goals of the company.

Accept Responsibility

After you have had this discussion with your manager and they hopefully liked your idea and are willing to make changes, they may want you to take over implementing your plan. This is a great way for you to not only demonstrate your commitment to ensuring the success of your company, but also your leadership skills, because you will probably need help if you are restructuring a whole office. Working with your manager and other employees to develop and final plan of action will help you not only collaborate, but take advantage of the opportunities you have presented.

Article Photos Courtesy of: USC, “Psychology of the Office Space” Infographic.

Samantha Stauf

Samantha Stauf graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in technical writing. In the last year and a half, she has been working in the marketing department at a local start-up

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