Is your office layout more of a hindrance than a help?
If you’re sitting there nodding your head, then it’s probably time to ditch your outdated workstation setup, do away with bulky office furniture and start giving your staff the space they need to succeed.
Nowadays, the office is more than just a place to work. The office of today has become a hub for people to connect, create and recuperate. When you pay little attention to your office layout, your staff simply have to ‘make do’ with an unconventional work environment.
But this isn’t beneficial for anyone.
If you’re planning an office fit out and want to understand the thinking behind effective space planning - we can help! In this article, we’ve put together 5 important reasons why your office layout matters. With these helpful considerations, you can create a thriving, future-proof workspace where staff are supported to reach their full potential.
So, let’s get stuck in.
There are 24 hours in a day, and for most people, a large majority of this time is spent at their place of work.
To boost employee morale and keep staff happy at work, you need to create a space that is both functional and inviting. If your office is poorly designed and not fit for purpose, your employees will feel overwhelmed and undervalued. And this feeling of dissatisfaction can quickly spread throughout the business…
To promote a happy workforce, incorporate spaces away from the workstation that encourage collaboration and inspire innovation. Large, open-plan meeting areas and break-out zones are ideal for this!
If noise reduction and privacy are priorities, position your break-out pods in a quieter part of the office or consider acoustic panels. This will allow employees to focus on important tasks while maintaining a sense of calm.
When it comes to your office layout, health and safety must be a priority.
According to the UK government agency HSE, “Every room where persons work shall have sufficient floor area, height and unoccupied space for purposes of health, safety and welfare”. They also state that “fire escape routes must be easily accessible and unobstructed”.
While health and safety measures might seem obvious, some business owners can become preoccupied with their office design and decor, failing to spot potential hazards along the way.
Others may try to accommodate rapid company expansion with additional seating and desks that can lead to cramped, confined workstations that pose a risk to their staff.
To create a space that is both stylish and safe, it’s important to do your research.
When preparing for an office refurbishment, it can be tempting to spend hours scouring the net for office design ideas but you also need to factor in staff safety. If you’re considering a new office layout, take time to look through the helpful guides on the HSE website so that you fully understand how to protect your employees. With careful planning and the right preparations in place, you’ll be able to mitigate risks early on.
Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that your office layout could be costing you time and money?
Along with health and safety negligence, which can lead to hefty fines from HSE, failure to consider good office furniture placement and appropriate zoning can affect your purse strings in more ways than one.
When employees can’t navigate the office properly, frustration is inevitable. If staff can’t move from A to B without having to walk the whole way around the kitchen, meeting rooms, and reception area, you are losing out on precious work time. This is time that could be spent on client meetings, important projects or valuable sales calls.
To get the most out of your space, you need to think carefully about the purpose of each area within your office. Once you’ve established this, you can then start to think about how these areas work in conjunction with one another.
When deciding upon the placement of each zone within the office, consider who will be using the spaces. For example, if your reception team spends a lot of their time printing and photocopying, it makes sense to keep a printer next to the desk so that they won’t have to rush back from another room to jump on an urgent phone call or welcome visitors.
If you regularly have clients coming in for appointments, why not position an office kitchenette or coffee machine close to the waiting area? That way, your guests won’t have to walk past busy workstations and other office facilities to grab a hot drink before a meeting.
What if your layout STILL isn’t working?
Fixed features such as solid partition walls and built-in workstations will cost you more in the long run should you ever need to reconfigure your office layout. So, to prevent unnecessary costs, opt for moveable options such as desks on wheels and temporary partitions which are a great alternative and will allow you to be far more flexible.
When you put time and effort into planning a layout with purpose, it won’t go unnoticed by visitors.
With a layout that promotes maximum productivity, clients will see that you're committed to working smart and championing innovation.
Don’t forget - your office is a chance to showcase what your company is all about. So, if your space is beautifully decorated but awkwardly laid out, your clients may start to question your attention to detail which could reflect negatively on your business.
To show that you care about your clients, offer a welcoming reception space that is free from clutter and easily accessible. This will make a good first impression and make them feel valued.
Oh, and remember those office pods that we mentioned earlier on? By showing that you have quiet, distraction free spaces to take confidential calls, visiting companies will see that you take their privacy seriously. This is particularly crucial in industries where sensitive information is exchanged.
When a new employee joins a company, it’s necessary to have a supervisor or fellow staff member on hand to provide support and respond to any queries that they might have.
Whilst it’s never a good idea to breathe down the neck of your new recruit, it is beneficial to position a senior staff member at a close distance so that they can monitor progress and assist when needed.
Facilitate supervision by making your workspace more collaborative. This can be achieved with hot desking arrangements or larger desks without dividers. You could even designate a particular area of the office for new starters so that they can support one another while they get to grips with new systems and processes.
The key thing to remember here is that the more you support your new employees, the better chance they have to integrate successfully into your team and become valuable assets to your organisation.
As you can see, there are a number of key reasons why your office layout matters.
From productivity to employee wellbeing, the right office layout can help to revitalise your office environment and help your team to thrive.
If you still need convincing, why not give us a call?
As an experienced office fit out company, we take great pride in our ability to inspire clients with innovative layout solutions and are eager to help you make the most out of your office space. Whether you already have a layout in mind or would like us to create something bespoke, our friendly team are on hand to help.