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Della Eaton Office Design April 07th, 2018 - 11:12:09
When a city is planned well the communication channels are well-designed and accessible so that people feel a sense of community and togetherness. In the same way an office layout will dictate the sense of community that the employees feel. The office layout influences the manner in which the staff communicate with each other the length and quality of their interactions how they socialize and ultimately how they learn from each other in both formal and informal ways. When planning the office design a balance needs to be struck between the ability to interact in open spaces and the ability to work in privacy. This means it is critical to take into consideration the specific job requirements of all of the staff members when planning an office layout.
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.
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.
Times are changing and these changes are reflected in the current trends in office design. Designers have to change their thinking away from traditional office designs and towards current trend. Office designers are seeing the following changes in the office environment: 1. Businesses are thinking more consciously about renewable resources and recycled furniture 2. They are becoming more collaborated 3. Offices are being used as a branding tool 4. The creation of offices with employees in mind has become crucial in employee retention rates 5. Hoteling/Moteling is much more popular