Office Layout Dos and Don’ts
Effective office design offers a functional and motivating workplace, whilst a poorly formulated office can have quite the opposite effect. An appropriate office design is extremely important when it comes to employee job satisfaction, and this has a direct impact on productivity levels.
Furthermore, the layout of your office can have health and safety implications so it’s vital you take this into account. Whilst employees should have enough room to perform their roles safely, you should also ensure that the airflow and temperature are kept at an appropriate level and that light levels are suitable for all locations.
As your office layout can have a significant impact on your employees and your business as a whole, it’s vital to follow some basic dos and don’ts when you’re considering your office space…
Provide enough space
Employees who are forced to work in cramped conditions or without adequate storage facilities quickly become frustrated. Working in an environment which is too small can be dangerous in some instances, and it may lead to on-going health problems, such as poor posture or back pain. Giving employees the space they need to perform well is the first step in ensuring they are happy and healthy at work.
Open plan offices and cubicles can be ideal in some circumstances, but you’ll need to take steps to ensure your employees have the privacy they need. Often, employers think that an open plan office allows supervisors to assess employee performance more easily but there are pitfalls to this type of office layout. Noise distraction can be a considerable problem in open-plan spaces, and this can reduce productivity and concentration. If you want to ensure your employers are delivering at a consistently high rate, make sure they’ve got the privacy to do so.
Enhance air quality
Many offices have fixed windows which don’t open or secured doors which sound an alarm when they’re opened. Unfortunately, this prevents employees from accessing fresh air when they’re working, and this can lead to health problems, lethargy and fatigue. Even air conditioning doesn’t replace the benefits of fresh air but using a system which enhances air quality can help to improve your office environment and enhance employee concentration accordingly.
Reflect your brand
Your office layout and design is a great opportunity to reflect and promote your brand. Use corporate colours and designs, and ensure you continue this theme throughout customer or client-facing areas too. With the right designs and an effective layout, your office can be a perfect branding opportunity for your business.
Ask employees for ideas
Managers and directors often make decisions about office layouts without actually asking their employees what they think. By asking your employees how they feel about their workspace, you’ll get the information you need to create a happier and healthier environment. Employees are able to highlight what is and isn’t working quickly, because they do their jobs day in and day out. To get the best results, seek their advice and feedback so that your office layout delivers exactly what they need to increase productivity and performance.
Office workers regularly spend hours a day at their workstations, so it’s vital they have the office furniture they need to perform their role safely. Ignoring ergonomics can lead to increased injuries and health issues, which often results in staff taking more time off. Using ergonomic office furniture is an easy and cost-effective way to provide a safer and more comfortable working environment for your employees.
Assume one size fits all
What works for one employee may not necessarily work for another. By recognising your employees and individuals, and adapting the office layout where possible, you can increase employee satisfaction and deliver a layout which is truly functional. Some employees may prefer standing desks, for example, whereas others may work best at traditional workstations. Ask your employees about their needs and use this feedback to modify your layout.
Harsh strip lights and glaring screens are commonplace in offices, but they can create an uncomfortable atmosphere for workers. Eye strain, headaches and dizziness can be brought on by poor lighting conditions, and increased employee sickness is a drain on company resources. Research alternative lighting and interior design options so that employees can work in appropriate light levels, without unnecessary glare or brightness.
As a business, you may want your employees to be at their desks for the majority of the day but this won’t necessarily increase your overall productivity levels. In fact, a stagnant office layout which encourages minimal movement is likely to be less productive than one which motivates employees to move around regularly. Whether you change the office layout so that employees need to move around to access materials or simply place your drinks machine in a different place, anything which gets your employees up and moving can help to break up their day and improve productivity.
Forget to maintain your environment
Creating the perfect office layout isn’t a one-off task. For maximum effectiveness, you should view your office layout as a continually evolving feature of the business. By recognising what’s working and what isn’t, you can make continual tweaks to enhance the working environment. Furthermore, asking for regular and ongoing feedback from your employees will enable you to make necessary changes efficiently, so that you can gain as much benefit from a productive office layout as possible.
Working in a stimulating office environment can change employee attitudes, productivity levels and job satisfaction. Beneficial for both workers and the business, an effective office layout doesn’t just provide a nice place to work. In fact, an effective office layout can improve the health of your employees, reduce company costs and boost profits via heightened productivity levels. With so much at stake, redesigning your office layout could be a simple and straightforward way of reducing overheads and increasing profits.
To find out more about creating an effective and functional office layout, why not get in touch with us today?