What Is the Meaning of Office Layout?

Empty work office. image by Neryman from Fotolia.com

Many people spend a majority of their time at work and, for office workers, that means being physically inside an office. The office environment is one that can affect your employee's work productivity and is created by several different factors. As a business owner, you can directly impact this productivity with the overall feeling of your office. The office layout, meaning how you place furniture and design the workspace, is an important part of your overall business culture.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Your office layout refers to how you set up the workplace for employees' needs. It includes using the right furniture, colors, design and walkways and considering the best use of space.

Define Office Planning

One of the principles of office layout is it should reflect the needs of the employees. If your business is set up in such a way that each employee works separately, then you may want to set up several rows of cubicles which will provide privacy for your workers and allow you to maximize the use of the space. Companies where employees work in teams may benefit from a more open plan, where employees have the freedom to move around when needed.

Understand Workspace Essentials

Make sure that the working environment has everything that your employees need to do their jobs. Hanging white boards and placing work tables in the open spaces can add a look of professionalism, but if your employees never use them, all they do is clutter up the space. Make sure that the only things that are in the work space will enhance your employees' jobs and keep the clutter to a minimum.

Choose the Colors and Design

Layout is more than just the office set up; it also encompasses the overall look of the office. When designing your office, take into account the type of business you have and what you are trying to accomplish with the colors. When choosing furniture and colors, make sure it compliments the work you are doing.

For example, if you have a design business, you might want to choose hard edges and vivid colors. However, a doctor's office might benefit from a more pastel color palette and comfortable chairs.

Use the Right Walkways

The layout of walkways can greatly affect how the office looks and feels. Narrow walkways give your employees the impression that they are working in a tunnel, which can be depressing. However, if you place your walkways too wide, you lose precious office space.

Find a balance between the size and direction of your walkways to maximize space while providing a feeling of comfort. Also, if there is room, try curving your walkways. One of the advantages of an office layout with curves in the space is that this unique choice is pleasing to the eye.

Set Aside Some Meeting Spaces

While planning your office layout, it is important to set aside spaces where employees can meet do discuss problems and issues where they and other employees won't be disturbed. Think about converting one of your offices into a meeting room or a break room. This will give employees the areas they need away from their desk and allow them to talk without disturbing their neighbors.

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About the Author

R.L. Cultrona is a San Diego native and a graduate of San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater, television and film with a minor in communications and political science. She began writing online instructional articles in June 2009.

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