2. unintentional signaling: who gets the corner offices? who gets offices at all? where does the most important person sit? where are the meeting rooms? who has to share with who? many many, real estate is everything . it depends on whether signaling strong hierarchy is a 'good thing'. Normally the more open plan the better (for the company, individuals would all like a room of one's own which leads us to...)
3. unplanned encounters: to what extent do you want people to be connecting with one another informally over the course of the day? Normally much more than they are now. This is how people build a sense of attachment, belonging and share ideas. People behave just like animals. They take the most selfish direct route for their needs: food, water, bathroom, mail. Companies who try to cater to what their employees say the want unintentionally create environments where no-one is forced into physical proximity with other people. There are no 'water-cooler' moments. The poor design of our kitchen is one example - it should be the place in the office where you can bump into anyone and chat (people of all levels) but instead people just scurry in and out. Having more places to get tea and coffee actually reduces the social connectedness of the office. Most organizations don't get this.
4. changing it up: we quickly adapt to our environments. much faster than we predict we will. companies spend time putting up notice boards, photo displays etc but if nothing changes, we no longer notice them. It can be important to make continual small changes to the office environment e.g. no-one is in charge of the notice boards where I work and they are neglected. they are a missed opportunity to reinforce the culture and signal what's important and tell people what they should be thinking about
6. seating mix: who needs to collaborate for the organization to be successful. What type of colleague should sitting within the vicinity (same function as you, same level)? This may be driven by the organizational structure: functional vs industry vs geographic vs customer segment. One argument is that if you organize by function (e.g. junior marketing people report to head of marketing not to their brand product) then should all the marketing people sit together? well it depends. If you sit them together you reduce the transaction costs of them communicating. But they will likely not mix and speak to people from other departments. How important is it for cross-department collaboration?
7. lines of sight: the atmosphere of a place of work changes significantly depending on how many people you can see from where you sit. There are huge differences between open plan and cubicles where you can't see (yet can still hear) one another. I know of HR departments who were given high cubicle walls for privacy yet they were not soundproof so they can't have the confidential conversations they need to do their job. Yet they are now isolated from their colleagues. In local communities / neighborhoods you can predict the amount of crime by the number of lines of sight that people have when walking around. They didn't realise this when building in the 1960s but now it is a key part of planning 'walkable urban' downtown areas.