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Krystal Wagner Office Design April 04th, 2018 - 12:30:48
Break Free from Cubicle Design A recent trend is to have everyone working in an open floor plan model. This means doing away with window offices for managers and cubicle offices for other employees. Upper management is seated in a large room and shares their space with every other employee in the company. This allows for open communication between employees and their managers. It is just one way to improve communication in the workplace. Remove cubicles and take down the barriers that prevent employees from open communication. Base your new office design on functionality ease of use purpose of office space and a mobile work style model. Create small hubs where employees can gather and discuss ideas.
How does this urban planning model play out in terms of office productivity? Office assistants for example are generally situated in spaces that are more public often close to the main passageways so that they are more accessible to their supervisors and other staff members. In contrast more senior management tend to have offices with doors so that they are able to hold private meetings or work in seclusion if their tasks require a deeper level of concentration. Of course the company culture will ultimately dictate where senior management put their offices. It is a trend among some types of companies for managers and CEOs to sit in open workstations along with their staff so as to appear more accessible.
What lies ahead for occupancy ratios? As mobile technology improves as home working becomes more viable with bandwidth increases and as part-time working becomes more widespread so the need for one desk per person diminishes. Increasingly modern office design is moving towards a ratio of 7 or 8 desks for every 10 staff. The next question is then about saving money by reducing the overall office space rental or to perhaps give some of the space over to social and team purposes? One of the leading adopters of modern office design incorporating flexible working and shared desk allocation CISCO Systems works on a ratio of 160 sq ft per person. Clearly they havent used unallocated desks and mobile working as a cost-cutting measure.
Depending on an individuals tasks some employees will need a higher level of privacy to allow for deeper concentration while others will need to be in communication at all times. For example a tight corner cubicle with high panels would not be suitable for people in a creative role who need to be in constant communication with their team. Sales people on the other hand may need to be in quieter enclosed spaces so that they can carry on confidential phone conversations or conduct meetings in private. Either way whether the office space is more open-concept or has more private offices it is always a good idea to designate rooms for coffee breaks and office equipment to an area away from the main workstations. In this way the noise level will not bother other staff members.