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How to Design an Open Office Layout

March 29th, 2022 | Best Office Furniture

A conducive working environment plays an essential role in keeping the morale high, increasing productivity, and optimizing the workflow. It directly influences job satisfaction, and ultimately the bottom line of an organization. 

More than a matter of fostering positive relationships, creating a workplace that inspires collaboration also depends on the aesthetics and amenities, and how the space is designed to streamline the business workflow. 

There are different types of office layouts but one that businesses these days find most appealing is an open-plan office. 

 

What is An Open Office Layout? 

An open plan refers to the architectural and interior design that focuses more on large, open spaces and less on small, enclosed areas such as cubicles and private offices. It is regarded as more economical, flexible, and effective for improving communication and idea-sharing between highly collaborative teams. Let’s discuss a bit further the benefits of an open office layout.

Better Communication 

An open office layout is arguably more sociable than any other alternative. Without the barriers, team members can easily turn to each other to discuss matters—whether it’s business or non-business related—without having to set up a meeting. 

Cost-Effectiveness 

The open-plan office is also more cost-effective because there are no partitions to build and no individual tables to buy. Moreover, with the lack of barriers, fewer lighting and HVAC systems are necessary because it’s easier for natural light to penetrate and air to flow through. Overall, it can help businesses reduce costs on construction, utilities, furniture, etc. 

Flexibility 

An open-plan space offers the best flexibility to accommodate varying layouts. Plus, with desks that can easily be reconfigured to accommodate more people, this layout can support your business growth without you having to spend more on furniture.

 

How Do You Design an Open Office Layout? 

A balance between openness and privacy is key to a successful open office design. If you’re setting up or redesigning your office, you’ll have to carefully plan how you can adopt an open office layout.

 

Assess your workspace requirements 

The first step in laying out an open office plan is to understand what type of work environment your team members need to be productive—or in this case, whether they will thrive in an open, collaborative space. 

Studies about open office spaces show that noise control, privacy, and tech issues are among the top concerns. You will have to lay out how you will address these problems as you design your open office layout. 

 

Plan your open office layout 

After identifying your workspace requirements, you’re ready to explore your design options with an open office layout. You can start by sketching your existing floor plan, identifying which areas to retain, electrical outlets to keep in place, and dividing walls and enclosed spaces to break down. 

If you’re looking to cut down on construction costs, you would want to work your design around the existing layout as much as possible—move workstations and equipment like printer, internet, WiFi, and servers near existing power and data outlets. 

 

Rethink your furniture

One of the core elements that make an open office layout is ergonomic furniture. These are products designed with comfort, functionality, durability, and movement in mind. As such, you’d want to get rid of any old and poor quality furniture that is causing your employees back pains, migraine, and eye strains. 

Invest in ergonomic furniture instead, starting with chairs that feature armrests, swivels, lumbar support, and padded materials. They should also be adjustable in height, width, and depth. This ECD Pursue Series Task Chair is a brilliant combination of design and function. It’s one of the many ergonomic chairs you’ll find at Arenson Office Furniture

 

Prioritize noise control 

Addressing noise distraction is job one in any open office layout, and it can be as straightforward as placing area rugs, carpeting the floor, or adding curtains. All of these can help absorb and control the sound to reduce echoes and reverberation. It also wouldn’t hurt to add a few enclosed spaces to give detail-focused employees a quieter place where they can complete complex tasks. 

 

Address privacy and security concerns 

Privacy and security are some other challenges in an open office layout. As you plan your design, think of adding locking desk drawers or installing locker units in common areas. In terms of work-related privacy, sometimes, all it takes is a strategic desk and screen positioning or adding mobile privacy screens to protect them from prying eyes. These are particularly essential for employees that deal with sensitive data such as human resources and accounting.

You can also address privacy concerns with practical solutions such as placing tall storage cabinets that can double as room dividers. 

 

Include common-use spaces 

As you factor in the needs of your employees, you would realize that there is a variety of spaces they would need—different common-use environments to ensure flexibility, collaboration, and optimal performance. Think of conference rooms, breakout rooms, kitchen and dining areas, lounge areas, and if the space and corporate culture  allows, game areas. 

 

Is an Open Office Layout For You? 

Now that you know how to design an open office floor plan, the next question is—is it right for your employees and your business? 

An open office environment is an attractive option for small and fast-growing organizations. If you think it’s the one for you, Arenson Office Furniture offers a wide range of customized furniture solutions to help you get started. 

Visit their website to browse a wide range of furniture options for your open office layout. 

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