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Designing your office layout

Designing an Office Layout: Key Factors to Consider

Designing the layout of your office is something that you should take seriously.
The final design of your office can have a significant effect on your employees,
helping them to work in greater comfort and ultimately improving their
productivity. There is always a lot of planning involved if you want to design your
layout properly, so here are some of the most important factors to consider.

Think in Zones

Try to plan your office layout in zones. If you group employees together based on their
roles - accounts in one area, sales in another, marketing in another - this can make life
more convenient for them.

Also try to take into account the various tasks they perform, like printing and
photocopying. If possible, place their workstations near to the tools that they need to use.

You may also want to create dedicated areas for particular tasks. For example, you could
have quiet zones where people can concentrate on tasks without being disturbed by
ringing phones or interruptions, as well as meeting rooms and collaboration rooms.

You may also want to position the staff room or kitchen far enough away from the
workstations to ensure that people who are at their desks working are not distracted.

Inspire 'Unplanned Collaborations'

Steve Jobs was a fan of 'unplanned collaborations'. The idea was that the design of the
office could be used to inspire encounters between employees where they could discuss
ideas and get creative. Some of the best ideas arise outside of meetings when people
are not actively brainstorming, and the office plan can influence this.

For example, you could set up tables where people can go to work from time to time and
where they may meet up with people from other areas of the office who they do not
normally have meetings with. This can also help to bring people in the office together and
improve the sense of community.

Give Your Employees Privacy

While you may not want to use partitions in an open office, you could still create a sense
of privacy for your employees in other ways. For example, you could allow them to have
their computer screens pointing away from other workers so that they do not feel like
they are being constantly watched.

Desks can also have low office screens around them. This can be especially effective in
the reception area where receptionists may feel like they are on show all the time. A
lower desk that is hidden from view can also help to keep things tidy.

Promote Efficiency

You want to ensure that your employees are comfortable enough to work efficiently, and
it is important to design their workstations appropriately. Make sure that they have large
spaces where they can deal with numerous documents and files, and don\'t force them to
work in areas that are too small for them.

The furniture you invest in will have a large effect on productivity. Spending a bit more on
better chairs can pay off if employees can work in greater comfort. You can also focus on
improving the amount of natural light in the office, perhaps by creating more windows, to
ensure everyone can work in greater comfort.

Plan Your Office Layout

The layout of any office is so important, and it can have a significant effect on the
employees and how they work. If you want to get the most out of your employees, help
them to be more productive by planning your office in a way that will help rather than
hinder them.

If you’re in the process of designing your office take a look at Southern Office Furniture
for inspiration. From reception desks and chairs to conference tables, glass desks and
3d space planning, they offer everything you need for designing your office space,
including nearly 20 years of experience.

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