Efficiency, wellbeing and productivity of employees are all objectives that are high on the agenda for the majority of businesses and a critical factor for achieving these objectives is the layout and planning of your workplace environment.
Companies have begun to understand the value of office design in achieving business goals and we are seeing a widespread movement away from the one size fits all approach of either all open plan or completely individual offices environments. But every business is unique and creating the right environment for yours all depends on how you and your employees function best. In this article we will provide some tips on how to achieve the right environment with office layout planning.
Office Layout Planning is the process of aligning working functions and furniture to efficiently utilise space and maximise efficiency.
The most critical part of the process is to plan the elements of an office environment around how the business functions. Function will differ from business to business and industry to industry. You must consider how your employees work and the spaces that they need to make them productive and happy. This means having the right amount of meeting rooms, individual offices, communal spaces and collaborative environments.
Spaces should also reflect the nature of the business, for the creative industry, offices are usually hubs of quirky originality with many breakout areas and collaborative spaces designed to inspire creative ideas and enable the team oriented approach these environments are focused around. Conversely, the legal sector which deals with confidential issues will require more private environments where clients feel confident to disclose sensitive information.
In order to maximise the success of an office layout project, include employees within the process. This helps to ensure that their needs are covered, makes them feel valued by taking into consideration their ideas and helps buy-in. If you work in an environment with a large number of employees, select ambassadors to speak on the behalf of the majority.
Maximising natural light is an essential part of increasing productivity and saving money. Being exposed to daylight increases performance and improves sleep quality for employees which in turn enhances mood and boosts efficiency. Having to artificially light an entire premises can inflate running costs by up to 35%. Glass partitioning are a useful way of compartmentalising office environments whilst allowing the continuous flow of natural light.
Even in the most professional and formal working environments it is important to incorporate flexible environments with breakout areas that allow staff to socialise and re-charge their batteries away from the desk.
One of the most under-utilised elements of an office environment is furniture, from ergonomics to creating unique spaces, investing in furniture can elevate an office space from adequate to exceptional. The furniture isn’t the area to cut budget on as employees spend the vast majority of their time in sedentary positions making their lives as comfortable as possible is key. Having well designed furniture is also an area that can leave a striking and lasting impression on both employees and existing and prospective customers to ensure that you are conveying the right image of your brand.
Storage is an essential part of the smooth workflow of any environment so incorporating adequate storage facilities is key. Having a cluttered workspace can also give across the wrong image to prospective clients and can negatively influence employee happiness and well-being.
Our final tip is to ensure you plan for the future and ensure that your design can facilitate the growth plans for your business. Particularly if you are considering an office move.
If you are considering changing the layout of your office environment, discuss your requirements with Building Interiors and we will tailor the right environment for you.