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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

How to choose the right office furniture and layout for a busy office

When Planning an Office, Please Remember this Poor Chap...!

We all know very well that people come in all different shapes and sizes, so when you are planning the layout of an office, you need to think very carefully about how to maximise the potential of your office.  It is important to maximise the available space you have to work with, but you also need to create a workspace that each individual can work comfortably and efficiently from.  
After all, if the office workers are happy with their work environments, they should be happier and more willing to work hard for the company.

Here are a few ideas of what you should think about whilst you are planning the layout of your office- particularly for an office which accommodates a high proportion of staff:


There aren't really any guidelines for space, but you should think logically about the spacing within your office- particularly regarding how much room each individual has to work from.  Each employee needs to have enough space to work comfortably, probably with enough room to accommodate a computer.  If the office is designed so that some staff have their backs to each other, you should make sure that their is enough room between them so that they do not obstruct each other.  If the employees are dealing with confidential matters, they should be spaced a fair distance apart from each other, for privacy and confidentiality matters.

High Traffic Areas and Emergency Exits

The staff in the office are the responsibility of the office, and you should make sure that there are emergency exit routes around the office, so that every member of staff could exit the building safely in the case of an emergency.  There will also be high traffic areas where many members of staff will frequently be walking up and down the office.  You should make sure that these areas are clear and easily accessible, in order to avoid accidents.


Offices are generally very busy, and depending upon the type of work that the office
does, phones are frequently used to speak to clients.  With lots of people in an office using phones at the same time, the office will be an extremely noisy place.  It may be an idea to try to break up the noise using screens or partitions, which will also aid with confidentiality problems.


If there are HR staff or other workers in the office who deal with confidential information, it may be necessary to create an area which is separate from other workers, perhaps through screens and partitions, so that these members of staff can discuss sensitive topics in a higher degree of privacy.  You may want to think about reducing noise through the use of screens, so that these members of staff are less likely to be heard.

Light and Screen Reflection

Decent lighting is very important for an efficient office.  If there are lots of windows around the office, you should think very carefully about where you place workstations, because sometimes, if workstations are faced away from windows, it may be the case that the window will be reflected in to the monitor screens of computers, making staff unable to see clearly.  Blinds may be useful as a solution in these cases, but you could also use artificial lighting so that all areas of the office receive the same amounts of light.  There are a wide range of options available to create a well-lit work environment. 


A busy office is a happy office, but it will also process a sea of paperwork and use many resources.  You should think about what types of storage are needed for your office- for example, if your company deals with a lot of paperwork, a good filing system would be extremely helpful, as well as a storage cupboard for stationary resources.  There are many different options available in terms of storage, and they will definitely help you to maximise the efficiency of your office.

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