An often overlooked consideration is the layout and functionality of an office space. In our blog ‘simple office changes than can create a happier workforce’ we discussed how the working environment can have a significant impact on employee productivity and their wellbeing. While every office space needs to meet its own specific requirements, this guide should provide some useful tips to help you ensure that your office can perform at its optimum capacity.
One of the first steps to creating a more efficient office space is to group employees together based on their job roles. For example, locating the accounting team with the purchasing and invoice processing departments will allow for convenient discussions between the individual teams. To decide how to position your departments into an efficient workflow you should make a list of the key responsibilities of employees and departments which will allow you to easily analyse how your teams interlink.
Providing employees with enough space and equipment that they require to fulfil their job role is essential to productivity. To do this you must provide a work station that offers enough space to accommodate their actions, equipment, paper documents and filling. Shared equipment that is frequently used, such as photocopiers, printers and postage machines, should be located in close proximity to the employees to decrease the amount of time away from their desk. When possible, it may also be beneficial to locate these pieces of equipment behind a group to give team supervisors an unobtrusive opportunity to check on the group’s performance and potentially spot any areas of concern.
Open planned office spaces and low-walled workstations are popular because they allow easy interaction between co-workers. However, this design may not be suitable for all departments, and you should carefully consider who would benefit from private office space. If you feel that any of your teams require privacy in order for them to focus fully on their tasks, then creating a distraction free environment that is segregated from your open planned office space should provide the ideal solution.
The layout and functionally of communal work spaces, like conference and meeting rooms, should be carefully considered as well. If possible, these spaces should be located near the main hub of your workforce and they should be able to accommodate the needs of each department that is likely to utilise them. Additionally, informal areas should be big enough to accommodate several employees at a time to allow for comfortable lunch, tea and coffee breaks.
Office space objectives
Ultimately, to improve your employees’ productivity your office space needs to meet the specific requirements of your staff to allow them to work at their full capacity. A well designed office space should also allow for expansion as a business grows. When considering re-designing or refurbishing your office space you should establish how to:
Ensure effective use of space
Achieve an efficient workflow
Provide improved supervision
Improve internal communication
Ensure employees can work comfortably
Ensure the safety of your staff
Here at Creative we offer a full service including design, fit out and refurbishment of office spaces, shops and warehouses. We use high specification materials and incorporate unique design features as standard. To find out more please call to discuss the particular needs of your business on +44 (0)1793 826 307