After purchasing commercial property in which to house your business, it’s important to think about how you will use the space.
Whether you have a good office layout or a bad one can affect more than you may think. Productivity, efficiency and levels of worker happiness can all be impacted on - meaning that ultimately, the layout of your office can even affect the success of your business.
So, what makes for a good office layout?
Coming up with an optimum office layout is a fine balancing act. You don’t want the office to look desolate, but you don’t want workers to be sitting on top of each other. Employees need to be able to communicate efficiently, but they also need the space to do their jobs properly.
Open plan vs separate offices
Open plan offices are very popular these days, with communal working encouraging interaction with colleagues. This is a great option for businesses in the creative industries as it allows workers to bounce ideas off each other, and hold informal meetings or thought shower sessions. This works well when the employees grouped together are either doing the same job, or are in roles that complement each other.
Indeed, a study by Teknion Corporation in found that over three-quarters of workers prefer an open and collaborative workspace.
However, one issue to consider about open plan offices is that they can be distracting - especially for people with jobs that require concentration rather than collaboration. For some workers then, it can be better to introduce an element of compartmentalisation that allows them to be sociable when they want but also ensures they have access to a space that is theirs.
In addition, if your company is one where most roles need large amounts of concentration then there is no harm in opting for a more traditional private office - just ensure there are some communal spaces available for workers to make the most of.
Spaces in which workers can get together, socialise and enjoy screen breaks are incredibly important to an office. Those who sit down at their computer in the morning and don’t stand up again until the end of the day could actually be much less productive than their counterparts who indulge in breaks.
A communal space needs plenty of comfy seating - try couches, armchairs and beanbags - and there’s no harm in offering up some fun stuff like a pool table, tv or games machine. A small offering like this on your part will receive the gratitude of the office and could have a positive impact on morale.
Think about workspaces
It is important to consider the type of work your employees do when investing in workspaces. Work surfaces need to be generously sized in order to fit in files, papers, computing equipment and other documents. Invest in some efficient storage space so you’re not needlessly taking up valuable space in your office.
When considering where to place employee workstations, it is a good idea to station them near other much-used office equipment like printers and photocopiers. Managers workstations should generally be positioned at the front of the people they are in charge of, as this makes them more likely to spot any mistakes.