An 80/20 approach to workspace design

An 80/20 approach to workspace design

The 80/20 Principle was a book written in the late 90s - it took the ‘business self-help’ genre by storm and has since been updated and re-published, making Richard Koch a superstar in the process. The crux of the book is that 80% of the outputs of anything come from 20% of the inputs. Sounds simple, because it is. Koch shows how this principle can be applied to everything from businesses profit, to general strategy, to making investments, to a method for choosing which friends are worth your time. It really does cover everything but he’s mighty convincing and to be honest, you finish the book looking at all facets of your work and personal life where the idea applies.

When developing our ‘workspace methodology’ for Frameworks, we’d never heard of the 80/20 Principle. It was only recently when one of our founders read the book that we realised how perfectly it describes how we design, spec and build all of our offices. It all stemmed from the original idea that led us to start Frameworks; which was that small businesses were being overcharged for workspace - paying sky high rates for things they just don’t need, when really the only requirements to work productively are a decent chair, fast wifi, strong coffee and an easy commute. 

As we’ve grown as a business the scope of what’s ‘necessary’ has markedly expanded, but the core idea remains the same. Businesses are still being charged over the odds for things they just don’t need, when in reality 80% of the functionality of an office comes from doing the basics really really well. Whilst it would be nice to have a meditation room, a boxing gym, and a full spec cinema, in reality that’s not going to be the reason your business thrives. When building our offices we follow this idea religiously - we work out the things that matter most and focus our research, time and budget on that. 

The principle applies not only to the general design of the workspace, but also to the nitty gritty of the buildworks and fitout. When an operator has a famous artist commission graffiti on the lobby wall, or a boutique coffee-roaster on-site all day - this is entirely irrelevant to a company’s success, yet they end up paying for it in their monthly fees. We on the other hand apply 80/20 religiously throughout our design process, from the choice of water cooler to the number of meeting rooms. 

When choosing furniture and fittings for example we know that the quality and design of certain items has a huge impact, so spend good money on things like sofas, comfortable desk chairs and feature lights, whereas designer brands and state of the art AV systems just don’t make sense. This means Frameworks spaces not only function extremely well, but provide huge amounts of visual impact for the money. 

Whilst it sounds simple, our approach is unique in the world of workspace. We’re opening new sites all the time for clients who want high performance workspace at an affordable cost. Get in touch if you think we might be able to do the same for you, we would love to chat.

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We work with organisations of all shape and size. Don't hesitate to speak with us about all things workspaces, and we'll try to advise the best next step for your team.
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