Provisioning Considerations

Provisioning considerations have to do with what needs to be in the space. As you think about how to outfit the space with furniture, technology, white boards, and other equipment, consider:

  • Range of postures. Based on the nature or range of activities the space will support, which postures should be accommodated? This includes positions like standing, leaning, lengthy sitting at a computer, casual use of a computer, and lounging.
  • Writing/display support. What types of vertical or horizontal writing surfaces are needed? How much? What size? Where do they belong in the space?
  • Technology equipment or support. What kinds of technology, including power/data/voice distribution, are needed? What special considerations should be made, such as installing power sources in the middle of the table so loose cords don’t create tripping hazards?
  • Type of information used in collaboration. What type of information do users require as they collaborate? How portable is it? What tools are required to ensure information is easily accessible?
  • Intended duration of use. How long will users be in that posture or using the space? Is quick “in-and-out” use the goal, or do work sessions typically last for several hours? Are users encouraged to get comfortable and linger?

Sound Levels

Most office users are no stranger to noisy offices, whether they occupy entirely enclosed individual offices or open-plan seating. The ABCs of acoustics help designers develop a set of methods to deal with sound in the workplace.


  • Design using materials that absorb sound rather than reflect it.
  • Install sound absorbers with high noise-reduction coefficients.


  • Design using noise barriers that prevent noise transmission from one space to another.
  • Use materials and designs that prevent noise transmission, like slab-to-slab walls instead of walls that merely go from floor to drop ceiling.


  • Use sound-masking technology. And, of course, there is the “P”: plan wisely to separate noisy functions from areas where heads-down concentrative work must occur