Organisation and productivity are the two key ingredients for success in any business. Whatever products or service you specialise in, you risk falling into cluttered and unfocused chaos if you don’t stay organised.
It’s often said that a well-designed work space will result in a clearer mind and thus increase efficiency. We’ve put together top office design tips and layout pointers to ensure your office is as productive a space as it can be.
Office layout tips
- Consider the full layout – Begin with the big picture and look at your overall office space and layout. Think about how desks and chairs, as well as screening furniture and meeting tables, can be used to divide the space on a practical level. Consider how people will move through the space, as well as how they will occupy it.
- Provide peace and quiet – Some people are very susceptible to the effects of loud noise. Heated conversations, hearty laughter or a radio turned up too high can all make working very difficult. To counter this, provide your people with a quiet area where sound is strictly limited and it’s easier to focus.
- Invest in clever storage – It is amazing how many odds and ends are floating around the average office. Phone chargers and computer cords, spare modems and bike locks, boxes of speciality tea and unwashed gym gear. Having great storage is the answer. This may mean assigning each person their own locker-style storage areaarea or using communal cupboards and hooks.
- Seat the right people together – This might sound like a no-brainer but staff who need to work with one another should be positioned close to each other. Sometimes, this may mean moving a key administrator to sit with the design team. Or, if your office dynamics are changeable, it may mean hot desking is a good option. The most important thing is not to waste key human resources by having people wandering around all day.
Office design tips
- Choose a strong look – An office that looks ‘pulled together’ is one that will encourage a higher quality of work. Where you can, optimise natural light and choose the best furnishings you can afford. Adding a few creative touches like chalk walls, break out areas with beanbags and subdued lighting to section off particular spaces can all really add to the atmosphere. Also, don’t be afraid of colour. The right combination of tones can promote a more productive ambiance.
- Focus on your filing – Badly organised documents can mean precious time and resources are wasted searching for the information or file you need. Whether you choose traditional filing cabinets, stackable box files or a modern filing system, it’s essential that anyone on your team can access what they need fast. Another good tip is to dedicate a little time each week to ‘filing housekeeping.’ Tidy away papers that have been used to ensure the system is in tip-top shape for the week ahead.
- Improve the view – Staring at a screen all day doesn’t help anyone to get organised or stay focussed. Rather, the human mind needs short, rewarding distractions. Provide these in the form of attractive wall art or prints. Introducing lush green plants is another way to perk up the office. Or, how about a large noticeboard where colleagues can pin photos, postcards, office notices and inspirational messages?
- Recycle, recycle, recycle – While you’re clearing your office of unnecessary clutter, why not do the same for the planet? Setting up a recycling corner in your work space will help your team rid themselves of no longer needed glass, plastic and paper, while also contributing the general ‘feel good factor’.
- Update your equipment – A slow or faulty printer, a hard drive that repeatedly loses precious files, or a phone that crackles and cuts out… as well as being highly frustrating, out-of-date equipment can represent a serious cost to productivity. Consider all-in-one office machines to cut down on storage space, for example a piece of kit that can print, photocopy, fax and scan documents. Boost functionality and you’ll also bolster productivity.
- Keep desks tidy and clear – Desktop clutter is a huge hindrance to anyone who wants to get organised. Distracting and irritating, it’s the enemy of efficiency. To tackle it within your business, operate a clear desk policy, asking that your team leave their desks tidy and clear at the end of every working day. Introduce stylish stacking trays where current work can be stored and attractive desk tidies where stationery and other small items should be kept.
Of course you don’t have to implement all of these office layout ideas to give your business an organisation and productivity boost. Simply by selecting one or two you’ll find any space can become a calmer, more orderly and happier place to work.