Unless you have access to some serious cash, you are probably constrained by physical barriers and existing building specs when designing your office layout. It is unlikely that you will have control over the exterior of the office building and probable that you have restrictions internally.
Nonetheless, there are ways in which you can optimise the space that you do have to gain maximum productivity from your employees.
Optimising Your Office Space
Ask not what your staff can do for you, ask what you can do for your staff:
Before you move in or begin to make any existing alterations it's a wise boss who sits down and speaks to those using the office on a regular basis. What works for them and what doesn't? Are there any obvious improvements to the layout of the office that would suit their requirements better? This is not an exercise in "who gets the best office" but a way to understand what your employees need to get the job done in the most efficient way.
Planning for success will make you even more creative:
Tempting as it is to set your office up in a hierarchical order working from top manager in top office down you need to plan the layout of office and department locations with productivity in mind. Having listened to what all of your staff need you will be in a position to draw up your plans. Ensure that you place individuals and teams that need to frequently communicate with one another close together thereby assisting your employees more easily to get their work done.
Alone we are smart; together we are brilliant:
The wealth of experience and knowledge amongst your employees should not be underestimated, and bringing people together will enable you to harvest this talent. But we're not just talking about the odd conference or boardroom here. To encourage your work force to collaborate and communicate in the office, set aside areas where employees can meet comfortably with desks, power outlets and anything else they may have mentioned (see point 1) to complete tasks as a team.
Education is the movement from darkness to light:
In last week's blog we touched on how important it is to get the lighting right in your reception area. This carries through to the rest of the office space. Spaces with brighter and where possible natural light have been shown to improve morale and overall employee satisfaction. Use any windows to the fullest by positioning furnishings away from them to let in the most amount of light possible, but if natural light is not a possibility use lighting that will emulate natural light.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but foresight is better.
You cannot neglect Health & Safety regulations. Consultation with your H&S staff member and double checking online will enable you to comply with UK laws. Are all your cables stored safely, even under desks? Is all of your electrical equipment PAT tested? Who is responsible for the over flowing bins? The least inspiring aspect of office design is no less important and has to be covered off.
Optimisation of the space that you have will help you achieve the maximum from your work force. If you would like help in planning your perfect office space then please do get in touch with us as it's something we know a lot about.