One aspect of office space planning is the organisation it can bring to the, well, the organisation. The design of the office directly influences employee morale and engagement with your business. If you can make a few changes to improve all of the right areas of your office design, you will improve your business.

As the metaphorical cogs in the wheel that drives your business forward, each employee is likely to perform better if the organisation of the office allows them to feel comfortable in the spaces in which they work. The wheel will keep turning if all of the cogs perform, so when we talk about producing an organised office design that is able to get the best out of an individual, it all starts with their own working space.

Office space planning: The individual workspace

Regardless of the type of work involved, working in an environment that is disorganised can throw up a number of problems for the individual. Even something as trivial as scattered documents or unfiled papers can make a workday a real struggle. Such scenes will effect productivity – especially when employees need to locate a certain document or refer to a specific note but are unable to locate it (at least right away). It will slow down the task that they’re on, it will take them out of their ‘working frame of mind’ and leave them frustrated, stressed and possibly angry.

It isn’t just files or documents the individual workspace can look after better – do your employees need to utilise certain tools to do their jobs? Have they got easy access to them? Are they in optimum working condition? Great office space planning takes all of this into account, cutting down on the time and effort needed for the employee to find what they need. Time and effort that can be poured into producing more work.

The productivity (and personal) effect that a disorganised office has on an employee is precisely why it’s important for a smart office to determine what is indispensable for the work that needs to be produced. Once these elements are identified, steps can be taken to cater for them. An individual’s workspace can be better organised through the establishment of a filing system, which is kept close by. Irrelevant documents can be shredded to stop them from building up in desks (or indeed, in the filing system), notes can be grouped by priority and labels can be assigned to anything and everything. This all may seem obvious but it’s so often the little things we miss, that build up to cause big issues.

The importance of ergonomics

Ergonomics refers to the practice of improving the conditions under which we perform our everyday activities, i.e. in the workplace. This is why modern office chairs and desks are adjustable; they provide individuals with the ability to find a level of comfort that suits them. Not only does comfort help a person to get on with their work but it also helps to minimise the potential of health risks that are common with sitting at a desk all day.

So with ergonomics playing such a key role in increasing employee engagement and preventing health risks, it is simply imperative for our office space planning to contain such ideas. Aside from the adjustable furniture, ergonomics can be applied by:

  • Using items such as a screen support that ensures the screen an employee is using is kept in position that is ideal for them.
  • Using footrests for when the feet cannot be placed flat on the floor naturally (a must for the ideal posture).
  • Using a palm rest for typing on the keyboard and for the mouse, in order to ensure that the hand, wrist and forearm are aligned.

Improving the 'quality' of the environment that a workplace offers

It may be the case that a disorganised office offers an environment that is boring, grey and dull. Nobody wants to work in a place like that; the uninspiring feel is hardly going to create high levels of productivity and high-quality work.

Organised offices usually (should) be able to generate an inspiring atmosphere that not only provides an individual with everything they need to go about their work but also drives them on too, making them feel that their work is truly making a difference to the company. If a person feels a part of the company's success, then they're much more likely to lay down roots and stay for the long term. This helps the company to keep talented people to establish a stable structure.

So, how do we produce this ‘great atmosphere’ in office space planning?

  • The quality of the air conditioning and heating systems is a vital part of your building’s operation. It may be the case that you have a system that may not be operating to a high standard, not producing clean air or even heating rooms properly. A new HVAC installation will help to correct any issues you may have, creating the ideal atmosphere all year-round for your employees.
  • Poor or outdated lighting can cause people to suffer from distractions, visual fatigue, stress, headaches and exhaustion. Think about replacing any fluorescent lamps you may havewith a LED lighting system that is able to create a better spectrum of light, creating a more ‘natural feel’ to the illumination of the office. You may also find that you’ll save on energy costs too.
  • Arguably the most distracting thing of all in the workplace, is noise. Whether it’s from the outside or if it emanates from the inside, certain levels and pitches can knock a person off their productive stride. This can be resolved by thinking about soundproofing, using noise-cancelling headphones or establishing quiet areas in the office’s design.
  • Speaking of the design of the office, if many of your employees all perform different tasks, have you thought about the impact that they may have on one another? For example, why would you place a telephonist next to a typist? It’s common for disorganised offices to use a ‘there’s a spare space, get on with your work’ mentality for when a new employee starts work. Many workplaces may not even feel they have the room or facilities to do anything else. If that’s the case, then you should think about establishing a new office design; not only will it allow you to create that great atmosphere within your office, it can help you to think about ‘zoning’ it into areas that complement each other, rather than distracting one another.

Create the ideal office design plan, with Oaktree Interiors

If you’re searching for ways to improve the productivity aspect of your office space, why not allow the office space planning experts here at Oaktree Interiors help? For over 30 years our team have been offering advice and assistance to business operations in all manner of industries, in order to improve the effect that their offices have on the very people who make them a success; the employees.

We believe that a workplace must be able to adapt to the working practices of the people within it, rather than them having to change the ways in which they work, just to suit the limitations of the environment. This is how you can help to push your staff on to create fantastic, productive work, as well as establishing a happy and content team. These are things that can only be of benefit to the company in the long term.

Why not take a look around our website to understand more about us and the work we do? Indeed, our case studies page contains many examples of the work we’ve undertaken for businesses who operate in a wide range of industries.

Need to learn more about the benefits of office design? Get in touch with us directly today

If you would like to learn more about our office space planningservices (including our FREE consultation) then please feel free to give our team a call today on 0345 21 86955 or alternatively, you can send an e-mail to us at hello@oaktreeoffice.com

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