Many people spend a majority of their time at work and 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 is an important part of your overall business culture.
Determine the Needs of the Office
The layout of the office space 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.
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.
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 (e.g. if you have a design business, you might want to choose hard edges and vivid colors, whereas a doctor's office might benefit from a more pastel color palette and comfortable chairs).
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. Curves in the office space are unique and pleasing to the eye.
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.
- Empty work office. image by Neryman from Fotolia.com