Blog | Designing Around Workflows – The Most Efficient Office Layout for Your Team
Starting with a blank slate is the norm for many who may be planning a new office layout. And as tempting as it may be to order trendy furniture, quirky chairs and abstract lighting, it may not be the best choice for the long-term budget or overall efficiency.
Start with a Good Plan
Knowing exactly what the office space will be used for, how many people will need desks or workstations and what the planned traffic flow patterns will be are just a few parts of successful office space planning. A good plan should also include details about effective use of available floor space, and ease of supervision. Add to this, a few more details about possible future expansion needs and the plan is complete. Following are a few more considerations that top office design specialists recommend reviewing during the planning stage:
Usage – Having a clear understanding of what types of usage the office space will need to support is imperative to planning. For instance, will the office need private conference rooms, workstations, or cubicles or is more of an open environment preferred? Office layout specialists know that with the right type of space, it is possible to plan an efficient office design with one or all of these types of space.
Layout of Space – Working on the final layout of the office was once done with pencil and graph paper. However, today there are many computerized programs that help in layout planning.
Overall Appearance – When an office plan layout is complete, it is important to consider the overall appearance of the completed space. While office spaces in the past were standard with gray cubicles, built-in desks and uncomfortable chairs, today’s spaces can be completely different. Make sure your office space reflects the overall culture of your company. Consider what colors might help to lift the mood and boost the productivity of all employees.
Long-Term Storage – It may be easy to forget pesky items such as storage and supplies in the excitement of office planning but finding out in retrospect that there is no space for these necessities could ruin the overall functionality of the space. Most offices still need space for filing and long-term storage of important paperwork as well as another dedicated space to house office supplies.
Standardization – Though an office space might need to have several different types of dedicated spaces, overall standardization can help to pull the entire space together for just the right look and feel. Standardization is especially important for expansion. The goal of your business is to grow! Substantial growth often comes with new locations. Buying into sustainable furniture from a single vendor creates an easy process of reordering, which makes facilities managers look like heroes and feel like one too.
Another important part of office layout planning is understanding factors that will help employees to be highly productive. In days past, it was assumed that an employee with complete privacy would be an employee without distractions and would be more productive. Today, almost 70% of offices use a more open floor plan. This type of plan helps to boost the ability to collaborate and converse but might lessen productivity due to distraction levels. It may be best to seek employee input when working on office layout plans, as they typically understand which types of things are distracting and what changes could be implemented to help them focus more fully. In some offices, providing white noise options for each employee has proven beneficial. Other locations have found it beneficial to provide a private storage space where each employee can lock up personal items and supplies. And don’t forget the importance of good lighting. Not only will your employees appreciate not having to squint while working on projects, the right lighting can actually increase overall levels of happiness.
Look to the Future
If the mark of a successful company is growth, then make sure your office furniture selection leaves room for that success. For some companies, this growth brings expansion into more adjacent office space. For others, the growth spans several floors of a building. No matter what type of growth your company experiences, a cubicle system that is built with growth in mind is key to successful expansion down the road. The best example of this a system that allows for growth is the Sunline Sliding Cubicle. Not only is this system easy to assemble, requiring only a small palmful of screws, and some clip-on brackets, but the standard cubicle panels easily slide in and out of place meaning that it’s possible to raise or lower wall height, remove or add walls and windows or even change cubicle colors. Even better, Sunline has managed to create a system that lowers the build time of a cubicle from 4 hours down to an hour or less. This increased ease and simplicity is certain to make future change and growth much easier to embrace.
Creating the right office layout for your team is truly different for each and every situation. Knowing which items help to boost efficiency and productivity and keeping future growth in mind help to ensure the workflow of your future office space will be considered a success by employees and management alike. Sunline is the future of cubicles and is making waves across the world, helping businesses unlock their workplace potential. Contact us today for a free quote request
Alissa has over 25 years of experience in the office furniture industry. For many of those years, Alissa was a Senior Interior Designer. She then took her love of design and working with customers to the sales realm and has been dedicating her knowledge there ever since. Learn more about Alissa!