Published On: Fri, Oct 25th, 2019

THE IMPORTANCE OF AN EFFICIENT OFFICE LAYOUT

The smallest things can often prove to be beneficial to your business, and one of the things that many people may never consider is the impact of your office layout on productivity and staff welfare.

In this article we will briefly consider the importance of a good office layout and will look at three specific things that anyone thinking about office layouts should consider:

COMMUNICATION

Effective communication is key to the success of any business, and an office space that facilitates this communication can have a dramatic impact on your business. With this in mind, it’s often a good idea to layout workspaces in a way that allows for easy communication between employees. This is why you often see modern offices with desks facing each other, and why individual cubicles have become less and less popular. Not only does it save space, but it allows for quick and easy communication between team members, often face to face. Similarly, it allows employees to talk in a way that non-verbal cues can be seen, ensuring more effective communication (compared to emailing, messaging apps or talking over the phone).

TIME MANAGEMENT

As the old adage goes, ‘time is money’. Any way a business can improve on the time management ability of its staff should be seriously considered by management, whether that’s through training, improved communication or via project management apps such as Slack and MS Project.

However, many people don’t consider that their office layout can dramatically impact employee’s time management, particularly if the layout isn’t conducive to efficiency and communication. For example, if the IT department and the design department regularly need to work together, it makes little sense to have them two floors apart in a large building. If these two teams are placed close together, it facilitates their communication and ensures employees aren’t spending considerable amounts of time travelling through the office.

Similarly, placing equipment that is used by most of the office (for example, photocopiers, printers, fax machines, etc.) in a central area will ensure ease of access for everyone who needs them. If they’re placed at one end of the building, or worse, placed in different areas, you lose a considerable amount of time in employees making regular trips to use them. It may seem inconsequential when you think about 30 seconds of lost time every hour, but if you have 10 employees, that’s 5 minutes per hour, 40 minutes per day, 200 minutes per week and 10,400 minutes per year lost in employees simply walking to the copy machine.

So, the next time you’re planning your office layout, consider how small changes can dramatically improve both communication and time management, and the impact this may have on your business.

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