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Office furniture: large space… what gives?

Aug 18, 2016

So you’ve got the keys to that fabulous larger office you’ve been angling for. Now it’s time to put into effect all that great stuff you said would improve efficiency and staff morale. Step one: Office furniture. What’s the plan?

So you’ve got the keys to that fabulous larger office you’ve been angling for. Now it’s time to put into effect all that great stuff you said would improve efficiency and staff morale. Step one: Office furniture. What’s the plan?

When you’re faced with designing the office furniture layout for a larger space, it’s important to understand how different departments/groups/areas need to work. Are you going to go individual cubicles, fully open plan, or some sort of hybrid inbetween?

First, getting back to basics… what office furniture requirements are fixed?

Let’s assume that regardless of whether your staff will be hot desking or sitting at their own workstations, there are still some basics every person needs: A flat, horizontal work surface – aka an office desk. A comfortable, weight bearing leg rest facilitator – aka an office chair. A coveted stationery stash holder – aka an office pedestal. A file fort– aka office shelving. A paper wormhole – aka a filing cabinet. A file-under-‘B’ repository – aka a waste paper bin.

And let’s affectionately refer to this collection as, “My desk.”

So, how does “My desk” actually fit into the whole scheme of things? That’ll depend on what “My desk” has to do. And to work that out for each employee/group/department it’s worth considering the following points. Will “My desk” mainly be catering for:

Computer work? Bearing in mind windows and lighting, if you type away for hours on end the keyboard and monitor/screen need to be positioned in the right place.
Paperwork? If you’re shuffling papers around most of the time - reading them, writing on them, filing them - is it still possible to keep the office desk clutter free? Can the layout facilitate the paper wormholes (filing cabinets) and file holders (office shelving) being easily accessible?
Meetings? If you spend a lot of time talking with others at your desk, it needs to be ‘meeting friendly’. Can you squeeze in extra chairs? Can an extra laptop be plugged in?
Telephone conversations? Do you need more privacy? Or perhaps, more importantly, do the people around you need to be screened from your noise? Can each person talk without interfering with the others?
So with those questions answered, what can you then do to ensure “My desk” is getting the support it needs for each individual? If you haven’t yet thought about a bit of office screening, it’s worth considering… With the right office furniture/screen set up:

“My desk” can feel spacious in less space! - Work areas defined using office screens can actually be a lot smaller per employee than fully partitioned offices, without feeling restricted or cramped. Plus, the fact that a screen doesn’t reach nearly as high as the ceiling means that the fresh, relaxed feel of an open plan layout isn’t lost.
You’ll be reducing distraction - Working behind a screen helps reduce both visual and sound-based distractions.
“My desk” will feel private yet approachable - Employees work more effectively when given a bit of privacy. They don’t need much… but they do like some. Office screens offer an ideal solution.
So there you go… in hardly any time at all you’ve worked out just how your new office furniture can make a difference to your business work flows and staff morale whilst not being lost in lots of extra space. And if you need a little more guidance on any of this, please do contact us!

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