A well-designed office space can be an essential factor in determining the success or failure of any business. A workplace that is both functional and attractive will maximize efficiency and this will have a positive effect on productivity and income. Planning an office space does not have to be done by professionals, nor does it have to cost a fortune. Here are a few suggestions that might help when planning the layout of your office.
Start off by making a list of all the activities and tasks that go into running your business. From there you can start to group activities into areas and decide which tasks can be done in the same place and which need their own specialized area. You can also see more clearly what equipment and furniture you will need for each area.
The next step is to draw up a floor plan. Try to draw the plan as accurately to scale as possible. Include all doors and windows; electrical outlets; lighting and ventilation on the plan. These factors will affect the placement of your furniture and equipment. For example, computers and other electrical equipment need to be placed near electrical outlets. Computers should not be placed where glare from windows will be cast on the screen. You will also need to consider the placement of phone lines and routers if you will be using a local area network.
If you have any existing furniture or equipment draw these onto the floor plan as well. This will help you to assess their size and functionality. You will be able to see what is still needed and how much room is left available. Try to keep your layout as flexible as possible. Look for furniture that is easily movable or that has multiple functions, especially if your business premises are small.
You should also include walking paths on your floor plan so that you can see traffic flow.
Workers should be able to move about freely. If possible, give your layout a trial run for a few days so that you can identify any potential problems.
Another important consideration is the storage of supplies and records. An organized storage system can be created easily and cheaply. When designing your storage system; also try to think about garbage disposal. Place several waste bins side-by-side to easily separate garbage for recycling or so that resources such as paper can be re-used.
Again, it is not necessary to hire a professional to help with designing your workspace but it is still possible to gain from their expertise. There are many simple office layouts available for download on the internet. Office supply stores will send you their catalogues for free or have online catalogues. Browse through these for inspiration and to see what kind of furniture and equipment is available.
A disorganized and inefficient workplace can have a negative impact on your business. Planning an office space that is pleasant and effective takes a little time and thought but the benefits and rewards are well worth the effort!