Gone are the days where typical office layouts were just simply a no-brainer floor plan for companies.
Today, more and more companies are exploring layouts of all sorts in the hopes of finding the right one for their teams. However, this isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. When it comes to things like these, it always needs a bit of room for trial and error.
But before we give you tips to make sure you won't spend too much time on finding the best layout, let’s talk about the truth on how office layouts can affect your team’s mindset. If you’re aren’t a believer of “Office Feng Shui”, it’s time that you do.
The Truth About Common Office Layouts
Employee productivity, nowadays, has been proven to be affected by a lot of factors. While a huge chunk of these factors are mostly personal, how their office is designed plays a huge part of that.
First of all, if an employee’s work area or cubicle is too small and cramped as a result of putting too many employees in one area, it can lead to problems. Employees, although working with teams from time to time, need enough space for themselves to work and move about.
If spaces between employees are too small for them to get easily distracted by other people passing by or talking on the phone, then you can expect productivity plummeting.
Moreover, having cubicles with virtually no open spaces for teams to communicate with each other can hamper collaboration and cooperation. It’s crucial that there are spaces dedicated for micro-meeting whenever necessary.
Aside from having space for work, lighting is also an important factor, not just for productivity and mindset, but also for employee health. Having bright lights within an office will not effectively compensate for the lack of natural lighting.
The lack of natural lighting has also been a common culprit among employees getting sick. They’re not only feeling tired and restless, they’re also seen to be less motivated to work.
Lastly, if the layout of your office doesn’t introduce much fluidity between teams and offices, then you shouldn’t be surprised if information doesn’t get passed on easily. Pathways and office locations must be easy to reach according to who’s going to interact with them the most.
Optimizing Your Layout for Better Results
Should you be guilty of a few—if not, all—mistakes mentioned above, it’s still not too late to rearrange and optimize your office layout. We’ve prepared tips that you can easily follow so that you won’t have such a hard time achieving an optimal office layout for your team.
Here’s our list of tips:
Introduce Natural Light
This may seem like one of the hardest things to do, but you can renovate your office to introduce natural light into workspaces. This doesn’t only mean that you’ll brighten up work areas, but this will effectively encourage people and place them in the right working mindset.
Explore Better Office Layouts
If you have an entirely closed office layout with cubicles lining up one after the other, you might want to try to mix it up with an open space for each team. Rearrange these cubicles so that you can better accommodate an area where people can communicate much easily.
On the other hand, if you have an open office layout with zero space for individualization, then try to introduce an area where employees can work on their own. That way, it lessens their chances of getting too distracted by other people.
Check Flow Zones
It’s also crucial that once you start to rearrange or optimize your office layout, you check whether or not the flow of people walking to and from their desks is still optimal. This means that it takes them a shorter time to reach the teams they usually work with—or even just the bathroom or the exits.
Each team works differently and sometimes, this might mean a bit of personalization here and there. While the tips we gave you are helpful, it’s also essential that you ask input from your employees on what they think is best for their mindset and productivity.
Respect Office Feng Shui
Office Feng Shui might not be something you believed in prior, but trust us, it really does have an impact. One of the best ways to respect and bring in feng shui is to have plants within the work space. This promotes an overall better atmosphere given that plants have life—just make sure you get live ones.