Today, work is an increasingly large part of people’s lives. Most of our day is spent either in the office or on the road doing work-related tasks. Given how much time workers spend in the office, it has become like a second home for many. As a result, it is no surprise that the office layout, design, and working conditions are now significant factors for many people when they choose an employer.
To attract the best and brightest, companies are spending increasing amounts of time and resources on their office fit-outs. These include planning the layout, furniture, office equipment and staff amenities. Due to the competition in major cities like Birmingham, Manchester and London, companies specialise in providing office fit-out services to give their clients an advantage when attracting and retaining employees.
Here are some of the main factors to consider when planning the design of an office:
Balanced workspace layout
Today, industries and the commercial sector are more dynamic than ever. With business automation and improving technology, the need for low skilled labour jobs has been replaced with work requiring increased knowledge, responsibility and flexibility. Often, an employee may have a variety of tasks; the work environment needs to be conducive to the increasing demands of staff to achieve their objectives.
This is why the best-designed offices have different kinds of workspaces located under the same roof. For example, one room may be designated as a quiet zone for people to work in peace without distractions. Another area may be used as an open office for situations when increased collaboration and brainstorming are required. With consideration for the work process and the different working styles, a good office layout allows an employee to move around to different workspaces depending on what their latest task demands.
With the long hours spent in the office, employees need facilities that enable a break from work, preventing them from suffering burnout and maintaining their quality of output. The office kitchen or canteen provides somewhere to find coffee or have lunch, but a lounge area provides somewhere for relaxation. Providing comfortable furniture, soft lighting and indoor plants offer an atmosphere where staff can unwind, or think through a work issue with minimal interruption.
Beyond lounge areas, conference rooms and open-plan workspaces, ergonomically designed office furniture, including, worktables, desks, and office chairs enhance the comfortable work environment. Prolonged sitting at a desk results in poor posture and a negative effect on overall health. This, in turn, negatively affects productivity at work.
Other office amenities
A well-planned office layout, with comfortable facilities and functioning equipment, makes the work environment a better place. With an increasing demand for workers, other amenities such as break rooms, green spaces, gyms and meditation rooms have become increasingly popular.
An office should be conducive to work and productivity. With the hours spent at work, the office is like a second home to many, so promote a more relaxing, home-like atmosphere and boost worker morale. At the heart of an office’s productivity is its people, which is why office design must be – first and foremost – human-centred.