How does office design affect team dynamics in the workplace?

Office design and layout can be a complex process. It’s not just a matter of placing a few desks in an open space and hoping that it will work. You need to do your research beforehand and consider the office furniture options that are available. If you get the layout right it can have a positive impact on the business.

Impact of the layout

How an office is designed and laid out can be crucial to the smooth running of a business. Employees feel that the environment they work in is one of the elements of job satisfaction. If they like the space, they are more inclined to be happy in their position, which will increase productivity.

One piece of research by Michael Brill, Disproving widespread myths about workplace design, found some of the main elements that impacted on the quality of work space for employees. The report pointed to the fact that employees want to be able to work by themselves, free of distractions, as one of the key drivers to satisfaction.

According to the research, employees also want areas where they can get together with colleagues and discuss ideas, as well as rooms for group work and meetings where they won’t be distracted. Other important factors are comfortable and spacious work areas, being within easy reach of team members and having the space to take breaks and socialize.

Managing to incorporate some or all of these elements into an office space can positively influence employees.

Choice of layouts

There are a range of layout and office furniture options that are possible. Once you’ve established the type of configuration, you can research the most suitable furniture through online retailers.

Open plan office space has become a popular trend in recent years. This layout can greatly assist teamwork if it’s carried out correctly. In order for this to be achieved, colleagues need to be located close to each other, so that they can easily chat through ideas. However, it can also be a distraction as it’s easy to interrupt others while they’re in the middle of something and there is a lack of privacy if you want to talk to individual colleagues.

Cubicles are another option for offices, where workers are separated into individual units. With this layout they would have their own personal space, but they’re still close to other people if required and have an area in which to have a quiet conversation. One of the downsides of cubicles is that it can make employees feel isolated and they might be less inclined to discuss ideas with co-workers.

In the majority of businesses, separate offices are reserved for senior staff. This gives them the privacy they require to have confidential meetings with employees and clients. However, other members of the team might feel that they’re interrupting them if they have to enter an office.

There will never be one right way of laying out an office. Each business will have different needs, so it’s important to look at your individual company and see what you require from your office space.