How to Arrange Office Furniture at Work (Plus Boost Productivity)
Your office furniture and layout is more than just functionality. Learn how office furniture affects productivity and how to arrange office furniture at work.
The office is more than just a place to get work done. Even if you have the best standing desk, the most comfortable office chair, and the best ergonomic setup for your workspace, the layout and functionality of the office still impacts your work.
When arranged correctly, your office furniture setup changes the functionality and energy of the office, improving productivity and collaboration. Discover how to arrange office furniture at work and how office furniture affects productivity.
Why Office Furniture Arrangement Is Important
Office furniture is a vital part of the look and feel of your business. A sterile office full of drab furniture and isolating cubicles can make your office feel more like solitary confinement than a collaborative workspace.
A visually appealing office layout can help improve collaboration, focus, and productivity. Studies show that a well-designed office can increase your productivity by 20%. Investing in quality office furniture and arranging it is not just an aesthetic choice but can impact your bottom line.
What Is the Relationship Between Office Design and Productivity?
Slight changes in office design can directly impact how employees work. How easy is it for employees to reach their desks? Talk to their manager? Collaborate? What physical barriers separate employees from each other? Small changes in the office can make it easier or harder to communicate.
A disorganized or unplanned office space leads to excessive lost time. An unplanned office is usually accompanied by mess, clutter, and disorganization. Lack of planning creates a stress-filled environment where employees can never relax. Rather than focusing on their job, employees must fight against the office space to access the tools needed to succeed.
When surveyed, 97% of professionals said current workplace design drained their ability to focus to some extent. Additionally, 46% described their office design as ‘impacting heavily’ on their productivity.
When employees feel comfortable and calm in their workspace, they can produce their best work.
How Can You Make Your Workspace More Productive?
There’s no such thing as a bad space; there are only unproductive layouts. Learn how to improve different areas in your office and make it more productive with these office setup ideas.
Improving the General Office Layout
Making your office layout streamlined and productive is all about putting yourself in your employees’ shoes. Here are three key designs you should always keep in mind.
- Traffic Flow
How will employees get to and from their workstations and to essential parts of their workday? Think of your office as a city. Just like you need a road to your home and work, your employees need established office routes where they can travel to their different destinations.
If you intersect two major roads in real life without a stop sign, there will be wrecks and congestion. So, avoid creating major intersections within your office layout. These spots will only become congested and difficult to manage.
Not all “collision spaces” are bad. They can also be used intentionally as a place for employees to naturally congregate and socialize. The most traditional space for this is a water cooler or coffee machine, but these intentional gathering spaces can be around anything that brings people together. Be mindful of where you place them in your layout to make sure they don’t block or interrupt areas dedicated to high traffic flow.
If you have available space, consider adding ‘back roads’ to your layout. These small, convenient paths allow employees to subvert the main foot traffic of the office and get to their location quickly.
Finally, be cautious about adding workstations next to primary paths within your office. As no one wants to live next to a busy freeway, well-traveled paths next to office workstations will continually disrupt them, impacting their efficiency.
- Open Your Entrance
Too many offices create a forced bottleneck in flow at their entrance. This can make your entrance feel cramped, claustrophobic, and unwelcoming to your guests and employees. Rather than blocking the flow of traffic at your entrance, consider creating an open and welcoming environment.
Start opening your entrance by focusing on your furniture. A completely empty entrance area is technically open, but it isn’t warm or welcoming. Consider adding one or two comfortable, but unobtrusive seating options for guests to use when they first arrive.
You should also consider shifting the color palate of your lobby. Dark walls and furniture can make the space feel smaller, while fresher and brighter tones can liven up the space making it feel more open.
This will help employees easily access their workspaces, while also improving how guests and clients feel when entering your office.
- Consider Where Your Furniture Faces
Where furniture faces can directly impact productivity. Employees can become easily distracted whenever someone enters or leaves the office by pointing desks, chairs, and workspaces toward an entrance. If you cannot rotate your furniture layout comfortably, consider adding a divider, temporary wall, or even sight-blocking decoration like plants to create separation between workers and the exit.
Collaborative areas where employees can work together to share ideas and create new solutions are just as important as their work desks. Here are a few design ideas to help you get the most from these larger public areas.
- Balance Openness and Privacy
Shared spaces must strike a balance between open areas where everyone is welcome and private areas where people can collaborate with privacy. Multiple spaces with varying levels of openness and privacy are the best solution. Managing spaces allows you to have large public meetings where appropriate and space for smaller, more private collaborations.
- Provide Meeting Room Amenities
Meeting rooms should facilitate the meeting, and complicated or missing technology shouldn’t restrict it. These rooms must have all the necessary tools and technology to hold a meeting. Depending on your office, this can include a conference table and flexible mobile seating.
- Make Space for Both Work and Play
Break rooms and recreational spaces shouldn’t be optional in the best office layouts. These spaces provide a necessary area for employees to take a step back from their work, relax, and return to their duties recharged with a fresh perspective.
These areas should focus on relaxation and community collaboration to provide extroverts and introverts the space they need to recuperate. While these spaces should be accessible to everyone, remember to distance them from your workspaces, as employees should feel safe to talk, make noise, and collaborate without disrupting others.
Optimize Your Space with NexGen Workspace
NexGen Workspace can help you get the most from your office space and help you get the most from your office furniture. We have locations in Salt Lake City, UT, Denver, CO, and Boise, ID.
You can contact us today to see how we can help you enhance productivity by improving your office layout.