Business is continuously evolving, and it has always been for centuries. With every innovation that emerges, a new trend also appears.
Take digital marketing, for example. Since tasks therein are primarily accomplished online, many companies have implemented policies that allow employees to work remotely. Whether from home or any place other than the office, this trend has paved the way for more people to seek an office-like space that fosters productivity.
Although having an office fitted-out may seem like quite a simple concept, it isn’t as straightforward as you might think. In fact, once you begin planning the layout and design, an office fit-out can prove to be a complex task to prepare for.
Consider all the activities that may happen every day, and make sure that you set up the office in a way that could accommodate all of it. So, whether you’re setting up your home office, designing a new business space, or arranging cubicles at work, you must understand the importance of a good office layout and the different factors you should think about.
Why Office Fit-Outs Are Important
Talk to any interior fit-out company in Dubai, and you’ll find that many of them have been hired to work on a wide variety of office designs. Although the office is a place for business, it has evolved into something more than just the headquarters of a company.
An office fosters productivity, which is why it is also considered a useful business tool. When designed purposefully, it can even reflect the company’s core values, mission, and vision.
5 Vital Attributes of an Office Fit-Out
From achieving the right ambiance to matching it to how the existing structure was built, the task of designing a productive-yet-inviting space to work in is far from an easy task. The fact that you need to plan around many different people (for companies) or for several varying tasks (for home offices) makes it all the more challenging.
While some believe that secluded private offices and cubicles are best for helping people concentrate on their own work, others might say an open plan is better for spawning creativity. The truth is, there’s no single kind of layout that works universally.
With each person having different ideas of what a good office should look like, your decision should be based on the most crucial attributes of a workspace, as listed below:
Location is more than just the space occupied by the office – it also determines its degree of accessibility. This is particularly true for companies with more than one department.
Location is crucial in achieving smooth interdepartmental workflow. Know which departments will be working together closely to determine which offices to assign to them.
When doing so, you should also be wary of the placement of conference rooms and the office of the organization’s leader to prevent sensitive information from seeping out when it shouldn’t. While some CEOs prefer openness and don’t usually meet people behind closed doors, you should still consider whether they prefer an office space located near the rest of the team’s work area.
The next factor you need to consider is the level of enclosure. Essentially, this is the separation of workspaces by structures such as doors, walls, or a ceiling.
When deciding on the extent of an enclosure for your office, you should think about how it can affect your workflow. This means you’ll also need to think about storage options to prevent piles of documents and supplies from being a hindrance to the workflow.
Also, you should consider how much natural light and air you want to enter into the room. Sunlight is believed to boost productivity since it aids in the production of vitamin D, which affects a person’s mood and keeps the body clock in check. This is the very reason why people who don’t get much natural light and air feel stressed and sluggish on a workday, thereby resulting in low productivity levels.
This attribute of an office fit-out pertains to the extent of visual or acoustic privacy it can offer.
Some companies opt for an open-plan setup, especially those that require employee collaboration. However, employees would still need quiet areas for work at some point, so you have to make sure that such spaces are also available.
In the case of company offices, it should depend on how much interaction between different departments is needed to complete a day’s work. Although cooperation across workers is important, there will still be a time when private meetings are necessary. So, at the very least, assign one room closed off from the rest to offer privacy for when you need to talk about sensitive information.
While having large windows helps regulate moisture and oxygen levels in the air, it can leave your office with less quiet and privacy. This can result in a drop in productivity, especially if employees feel they are not getting enough time in private to complete tasks that require utmost concentration.
Remember: design your office based on what workers need, and don’t rely on trends to know what would work.
An excellent office floor plan should also ensure ease of navigation. Make sure that your layout not only looks great but is also functional and serves the utilitarian purpose of evacuation and fire safety in emergency situations.
More importantly, the office layout must also foster unhindered access to supplies and records as well as fluid navigation between different members of the team. This particular attribute affects the quality of collaboration and engagement within a team. That said, you have to provide an area where people can work together and ensure that there is a clear path to every workspace in the building.
Functionality is a priority, but comfort is equally important in planning an office fit-out. Believe it or not, comfortable chairs and work conditions play a big role in a person’s efficiency, so be sure to add ergonomically-designed furniture pieces like height-adjustable tables and chairs.
When a worker experiences discomfort from poor furniture selection, you’ll risk having a huge work distraction in your hands. This can also cause absenteeism due to body aches and medical conditions.
Aside from the furniture, a good office design also takes air temperature into consideration. Whether it’s too hot or too cold, uncomfortable office temperatures can distract employees from their tasks, so make sure that it can be adjusted for optimum productivity.
Office Fit-Outs for Optimum Productivity
Good office design is crucial for different stages in a professional’s life. Whether you’re building a brand through a better work environment or planning to transform a vacant room into your home office, choose a design that serves your purpose while maintaining comfort and privacy to ensure optimum productivity. Use this article as a guide when making a decision.
Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company's Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.