Office Planning 101: What to Consider When Designing a Workspace

Office Planning 101: What to Consider When Designing a Workspace

March 15, 2017

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If you fail to plan, you plan to fail…famous words that have a universal application. Diving into anything (regardless of what it is) without giving it some serious thought is the first step in the wrong direction. No matter how big are small, everything deserves consideration.
When it comes to the layout and design of spaces in which a lot of time will be spent, special consideration must be given. If you’re developing or updating an office space it’s especially important to think about how certain pieces will work with one another in order to create the most effective work flow. Here are some things to consider when planning your new office space:

Adjustability of furniture

As portable devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones become ubiquitous in our lives, the workplace conceived for the desktop computer is becoming obsolete. Bulky and stationary furniture can no longer respond to the evolving communication needs and work styles of people. They are interacting differently with their surroundings, and their new postures should be sustained by modular furniture that provides an endless variety of configurations and forms.

Colors and textures

For people whose work is a dreary experience, color may be used to inspire creative thinking, improve mood, and have a calming – or, on the contrary, stimulating – effect. All the big corporations are doing it, and it seems to have a positive impact on people’s mood and productivity levels. Use blue and green to spark confidence, red to increase attention to detail, black and white to achieve distinctiveness, and bright yellow or orange to create a cheery, energetic space.

Amount of space

No company can ever complain of having too much space. Despite this fact, studies have shown that only 55% of offices utilize their space to a satisfactory level. In their pursue of space optimization and cost savings, few managers ask themselves whether the present layout is preventing workers from doing their job in a streamlined and effective manner. If too much time is wasted moving around the office between the printer and the conference room, if collaboration is hindered by furniture placement, or if some spaces are always empty and others always overcrowded, then the office layout is creating, not solving, problems.

Comfort of furnishings

For modern workers who spend more time at the office than at home, their workstations become an extension of themselves and should provide the required level of comfort and mobility. Ensuring a “fit” between people and their work means equipping workstations with enough leg room, adequate task lighting, an anatomically-correct task chair that sustains a natural posture, and a work surface fitted to the worker’s body size and weight (where frequently used items are within comfortable reach). Applying ergonomics to the workplace can reduce the potential for injury, accidents, and ill health. In time, the lower injury rate translates into decreased absenteeism, improved morale, better job performance, and lower replacement worker costs.

There’s no such thing as the perfect space, but when you take the time to make important considerations such as these you’ll be able to develop a a designed space that is perfect for you, your team and can enhance workflow.

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