The design of an office isn’t just about how it looks, as it also covers a range of additional factors. Accessibility, health and safety, the flow of people, the placement of technology, natural light and visibility lines all play key roles, making office design quite a tricky thing to get right.
If you want your workplace to run at optimum efficiency, you need office layouts that facilitate productivity and wellbeing. Achieving the perfect design takes time, attention to detail and a variety of considerations, so why not ask Merlin for some help?
Over the years we’ve created layouts for a wide variety of customers, each of which catered to specific requirements and revolved around particular types and styles of office furniture. Below are some of the main issues that we focus on when designing an office layout.
Where everything goes
This is both the most obvious and the trickiest element of office design. Do you go for a truly open-plan layout or are there some staff who work better when they have the option of privacy and personal space? Does everyone have their own dedicated workstation or is hot-desking more suited to your business model?
Should certain departments be next to each other, such as placing marketing specialists near sales reps? Is the furniture placed so that people can move around with ease and natural light can flood the room?
Then there are more precise considerations, such as exactly where each desk will go, how to integrate storage areas, and the placement of other furniture such as meeting tables and breakout seating. All of this needs to work well on its own and also in harmony with everything else, as a poorly laid out office will cause delays, disruption, bottlenecking and possibly even accidents.
The placement of technology
Chances are that every worker’s desk will require space for a desktop computer and phone. Some employees may need two screens, whereas others might benefit from their own printer. Then there are communal devices, such as the main printer, photocopier, franking machine, laminator, paper shredder, and maybe a water cooler and vending machine.
Each piece of technology requires a plug socket whilst keeping power leads out of the way and ensuring safety. You may also want to incorporate other features that increase efficiency, such as cable management and wireless charging pads.
Assessing which devices each workstation will have is one of the first things to bear in mind when designing an office layout, as it takes into account each user’s individual needs from the very start. It’s also important to think ahead, as that way new technology can be installed when the time comes without causing a big fuss.
Reflecting your company culture
Company culture is a set of values, goals, attitudes and practices that define your business and how it operates. A recent study suggested that there are four types of culture that can be adopted by an office:
- A “collaborate culture” will work best with an open-plan layout where people can move around, share workstations and openly discuss projects in pairs and groups. This environment is synonymous with hustle and bustle and very little silence, making for a highly dynamic and energetic workplace.
- A “create culture” is quite similar to the above but some staff may need their own clear workspaces. Designers in particular could require large areas of wall space for designs and blueprints that are in progress, whereas content writers will often benefit from a more secluded spot that isn’t as noisy.
- A “control culture” combines individual workstations with clear areas for meetings and brainstorms. Enclosed spaces are required by some workers, as this allows them to block out distractions and ensure confidentiality.
- A “compete” culture has the most uniform layout, which is often symmetrical and highly structured. The movement of staff from space to space is minimal, as the majority of work will be done at their individual desks. There will be meeting rooms that are clearly defined and much more formality than the other cultures in this list.
Upgrade your office
We create positive workplace environments that ensure your staff are comfortable, happy and productive. To find out more about how we can design office layouts that perfectly suit your exact requirements and increase workflow, get in touch on 01482 301000.