05 Sep OFFICE DESIGN AND BENEFITS # 3 STEPS to arrange the office space
There are 3 basic questions that should be answered before we set out to arrange an office well-adjusted to the needs of a specific organisation and its employees.
Differences between working modes, activities and office arrangement models are best summed up by the answers to three questions about: the working mode, the office activities and the type of office.
Step 1: WHAT is the working mode in your organisation?
• What’s the organisational policy? – does the employer accommodate remote/hybrid work, does the company have specific regulations concerning remote work, etc.?
• What daily tasks do the employees tackle? Can any of them be completed outside the office space without compromising the quality of the outcome? Or is an office better after all?
• Do the employees use specialist tools or equipment in their everyday work (e.g. a desktop computer)?
The answers to these questions will help you decide what mode of work is the best for the employees.
Step 2: WHAT is the main activity in the office space?
- What kind of activities do the employees perform?
- Is it mainly group work or individual work?
- Which activity is dominant?
- Why will the employees come to the office?
- Which activities is office space supposed to support?
These questions – and the answers to them – are important and should be considered by decision-makers in the company. This is how you make informed decisions on the kind and designation of office areas, in order to proceed with functional arrangement at a later stage.
Step 3: WHAT kind of office?
The last part of the decision-making process is choosing the model of office arrangement. Once you know what mode of work is prevalent and which activities will be performed in the office, you can decide how to arrange the office space. You need to bear in mind that the office should offer support rather than limitation, and promote effective performance of everyday tasks.
With no walls to limit the space you can introduce new zones designed to increase and improve the employees’ effectiveness, motivation and wellbeing. In an open space the role of the communication area is prominent, which means you will find more space for formal meetings, conference rooms or areas for ad hoc consultations.
Communication Hub – changes its function. It now promotes such values as communication, cooperation, company culture and atmosphere as well as building interpersonal relations. In a hybrid office the number of workstations is not the same as the number of employees (desk-sharing), and administrative tasks or focused work can be performed out of office, e.g. from home. An office is a place for meetings and team work.