Recently we received a request from a client to relocate their office services space from the tower location where their business offices exist to a sub-basement space in an adjoining tower. Mail and reprographics centers, which were previously separate would exist in new, adjacent space, but be managed by two different teams. Challenging? Just a bit!
Some of the more difficult aspects of this challenge are obvious. How much space is available now and how does that compare to the previous locations? Is there easy elevator access to move mail and copy jobs? Is there enough room for items that are used frequently? If the new location was previously used for storage, where will those stored items go now? Most importantly, we were concerned about the impact to service delivery; it’s essential that the firm maintain the same level of service, particularly in regards to timely delivery of mail, copy jobs, printing, and scanning, without a costly add of staff.
As we delved into the project more questions arose. As there is only one entrance and egress point for the space, it was important to determine if there would be just one Customer Service Desk for the adjacent, separately managed spaces. If not, who would act as the focal point for the Center? The correct configuration of the space is crucial to maintaining an unrestricted and easy workflow. Should the space be set up for the possibility that a single management of the teams will eventually be accomplished? Looking towards this future possibility, should the managers’ offices be located in their current area of responsibility, or so that they could view the entire operation?
Many of these questions cannot definitively be answered at this point in time, there are too many outside factors. Planning for the future and maintaining flexibility is the best method for dealing with these challenging dynamics. We need to make recommendations that work for right now, but are also flexible enough to handle changes in the near future. As the office environment evolves, office configuration and space planning must evolve with it. Who knows? This type of move could result in a total redesign of the way that mail and print requests are received and delivered. A portal to the “digital world” could be coming sooner, rather than later.