If you’re looking for a guide to help you choose the best office layout with maximum effectiveness, you’ve come to the right place! An office layout is part of your brand and a direct representation of your company. A well-designed and properly planned space conveys the order, quality, and stability of your brand, both to your employees and the clients who visit. Read on to evaluate your needs — based on your type of company, your staff, and what your plans are for the future–and follow the guide below for some insights on how to create your best office layout.
Your Type of Company
Best office layouts can change depending on your type of company and stage of existence. There’s certainly cross-over from one category to another and today’s flexible designs can be adapted for various situations. Still, how you see yourself can determine the type of workstations and storage solutions you select.
If you’ve followed in the footsteps of the Hewlett Packard story and you’ve moved out of the garage — then congratulations! Setting up a new office is daunting and it’s tempting to buy used furniture that doesn’t cost much. Remember that while affordable quality used office furniture is available, the price difference however, with buying new furniture is minimal. At this stage in the game, also consider that now’s the time to invest in a layout that’s modular. Start with the most essential pieces and add as growth occurs and the budget allows.
TECH, PR, ENTERTAINMENT
In areas like Hollywood, Santa Monica and Culver City, open office layouts are widely used with technology, public relations firms and production companies. The need for collaborating on projects is high and an open office layout supports communication. Use height-adjustable tables and desks that can meet the varying needs of individuals. Provide private spaces for employees to retreat into a quiet, brainstorming mode. Set the open tone with reception desks that have a minimal, modern and approachable appearance.
ESTABLISHED PROFESSIONAL FIRM
A professional law or engineering firm will usually have a high need for traditional private offices. Desks and related storage with ergonomic chairs can still invite collaboration and discussion. Or, in a private space, consider comfortable chairs off to the side for inter-personal communication.
CORPORATIONS WITH DEPARTMENTAL BOUNDARIES
An established corporate office with well-staffed departments can use a variety of office layouts, or a modular approach, based on the needs of upper management and specific departments. Cubicles can offer privacy but allow for communication and transparency with translucent or clear partitions. Departments can use pods for small groups of workers and provide for individual storage needs and equip private offices with traditional desk and storage designs.
Nonprofits in Southern California are as different as the people they serve. From health-care and after-school programs to foster care and food programs, staffing needs and the way they operate vary greatly. Nonprofits that have program recipients coming in can invest in quality multi-purpose chairs that are durable with budget-smart chairs and conference tables for board meetings.
Companies that turn raw materials into products for aerospace, the fashion industry, and small manufacturing firms can use a mix of public and private spacing. Make access to the production floor easy but cut down noise and distractions with private cubicle spaces. Give labor comfortable seating options and arrangements during break times.
Staff Functions and Needs
Your office layout will be affected by how often your staff is in versus out. Think of how the behavioral needs of a real estate brokerage firm in Beverly Hills are quite different than an accounting firm in Glendale.
HEAVY USER STORAGE NEEDS VS MINIMAL
The need for file storage that’s office-wide or heavy in one department and light in another can impact layout. One central storage area that’s well-equipped may serve the needs well, or each workstation can have its own available storage.
COMPUTER USE VS CLIENT-INTERACTION IN-PERSON OR PHONE
The more work revolves around client interaction online compared to phone or in person then lean toward workstations for open office and modular designs.
OUTSIDE SALES VS DESK WORKER
Professionals like real estate agents who are mostly out seeing clients can use shared spaces quite well. Create modular conference areas when important documents need signing.
A firm that’s heavily team-centered can use an open office layout with clearly designated quiet areas and open spaces for breaks.
Plan for the mid-term and long-term future. An established corporation in a mature industry will likely use the same layouts with only subtle changes for the future. An entrepreneurial firm that goes from boot-strapping to steady cashflow will undergo much greater changes in the same period of time.
Public relations firms and entertainment firms that bring in freelance talent on a project to consult and then disburse should focus on areas that serve group brainstorming and problem-solving.
GROWTH AND EXPANSION
The startup or small office intent on winning more business can use a minimalist, modular design.
Provide for efficient flow of information between departments.
Getting Started on Your Best Office Layout
Image Source: OFS Brands Aptos