Once you have selected the next home for your business, it’s time to consider the ways in which you can best optimize satisfaction and productivity. The path toward optimization requires careful attention to detail and knowledge of best practices with regard to your office space layout. If you have opted for an open-plan office layout, be sure to review our article about executing open-plan office space the right way (includes sample floor plan).
Closely examine the collaboration bandwidth levels between teams within your company. Teams which experience higher communication traffic should work in closer proximity—this augments communication and promotes efficiency. Disjointed internal coordination can be remedied by reinforcing accessibility among teams where it’s needed most.
Organizing the office by title not only limits communication by virtue of crippled accessibility, but also discourages individuals from maintaining a faster communication cadence when the social dynamic supports feelings of low status and depersonalization. Consider what your office space layout implies to your coworkers and query them directly to gauge their feelings about the layout.
Observe locations which experience very high traffic or high occupancy time. Time spent waiting to pass through a congested area or waiting for a room has a direct impact on productivity both in the short-term and long-term. Frustrations which arise from consistent inability to access necessary regions of the office have a deleterious impact on all individuals, affecting overall satisfaction and quality of work. Solutions for these issues differ from one business to another; mild congestion issues may be resolved with simple reorganization of the office layout whereas more egregious instances of high traffic and congestion may be a result of company growth—in this case, it may be time to consider expansion or relocation to a space that better suits your business’s new space requirements.
In most offices, copy machines, printers, office supplies, etc. become points of interest for a majority of individuals. The placement of these critical utilities should be done strategically to promote accessibility and avoid creation of new congested areas. Determine which utilities are “must haves” for a team or area and move the rest to another dedicated location to divert traffic.
There’s no need to act solely upon inferences and observation when the best sources of reliable information work in your office space. Remember to survey regularly so you can address the issues outlined in this article without delay.