I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on the fact that every business has very different workplace needs. We get it. Each company has unique responsibilities required of their employees to be productive and successful. Makes sense. This is also why every workplace isn’t designed the same way. The “open office trend” may be creeping into more and more workspaces, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right layout for companies that need their employees need privacy to be effective. Workplaces are complex, and there’s a lot to consider when taking advantage of everything your office furniture and design have to offer. Here are some things you should be thinking about during the design of your office layout:
Characteristics of Your Space
Obviously, every office space provides a unique canvas to create your design vision. Whether there are physical challenges such as columns or limited electrical access, or your space is wide open and requires the use of some creative barriers to group certain departments or employees, the layout of your space will play a large factor in not only what you want to do, but what you CAN do. You should also consider the effectiveness of the actual size of your space. If employees have to travel long distances to communicate with one another or pick up something from the printer, then they’ll be spending less time being productive. Conversely, a small space leaves employees feeling smothered, micromanaged or uncomfortable. We enjoy our personal space, but benefit from the ability to easily communicate and collaborate with one another, so figuring out how to best utilize the space you have and balance the areas designated to the individual employee and collaborative work is the best way to maximize your company’s productivity.
Type of Work You Do
The whole purpose of your workplace is to be conducive to the type of work you do daily. Your duties dictate the type of equipment, accessories, storage, space, (basically everything) that you need! And this isn’t something you can just generalize either. Your creative department may benefit from more shared spaces for collaboration, while your sales representatives need privacy for phone calls and client meetings. The height of your cubicle walls are one way to establish varying degrees of privacy, in addition to the incorporation of glass or acoustic tiles, the shape of your work surface, the use of doors and dividers, among a number of others. Having a professional designer‘s expertise working on your project can help you maximize your investment through flexible office solutions that can be modified as your company changes and accommodate the different employees within your office.
The health of your employees is foremost in your office design. Not only for the obvious reasons of it being, well duh, their health, but in terms of influencing their productivity and mood. A healthy employee is a happy employee, which means they’ll want to work harder and work longer for your company. Ergonomics play a huge role in achieving comfort and flexibility in your furniture to accommodate the millions of body types out there. For programmers or administrators who spend most of their day sitting at their computer, their chair ergonomics are a big deal! Features such as waterfall front seats, adjustable arms and lumbar support can help eliminate pain and promote healthy blood flow throughout your legs. Ergonomics also come in the form of accessories. Task lights that emit LED lighting for less negative impact on your eyes (while also preserving energy), keyboards that support your wrists and arms and adjustable monitor arms that can be positioned to eliminate eye strain and changes in posture.
Reflect Your Brand
A cool way to make your office unique and keep employees engaged in the company they represent is to have your design reflect your brand. The use of color is one way to do this, through simple paint or tile choices, or even your chair fabrics. Refurbished chairs are a great way to pick the specific colors of your chairs with all new fabrics without paying a fortune for new customized seating. You also don’t have to remain uniform in your choices and instead, can be free to choose multiple colors for different chairs or even on the same one. Your furniture can also help you represent the formality or casualness of your brand to help create a feel throughout the office that you want to portray in your customer service. Maybe mobile furniture and easy electrical access is something you want to encompass in your design to show the flexibility of your services and products. Employees can work from multiple locations or relay work to others quickly and simply. What you’re trying to sell others should be something you represent in your own office. Would you buy digital media services from a company whose employees use clunky desktop computers? Probably not, so make sure your office sends the right message and helps employees properly represent their company image.
Keep it Fun
All work and no play is not a good management strategy. Creating an office that encourages productivity, but doesn’t create a sense of culture or comfort is not going to keep employees engaged for very long. Employee lounges or cafes that allow employees to socialize and relax without discussing work are a great way to create better relationships and give everyone time to reboot. Maybe a large chalkboard can display “featured employees” each month or share when and where the next happy hour will be. These spaces are also great for hosting events or getting people together for the next big US World Cup game or Olympic games. Balance your office design to incorporate both work and play that’s specific to your company culture. Get creative! Your employees will thank you, and everyone wins.
For more information on how to design the best office layout for your and your company, talk to one of our experienced sales reps or send us an inquiry on how we can help you! Our complimentary design and project management services can help you every step of the way as you create a place in which your employees will love coming to work!