The way that you have your office laid out matters more than you think, and the furniture that you have placed around your office is also of high importance – and not just for the aesthetics. Productivity in the office matters, and lousy furniture and an ugly layout all matters in helping to motivate your staff. We spend upwards of eight hours a day in the office, and the last thing we want is to be uncomfortable and feeling sluggish just because the furniture we are using isn’t right.
The workstation layout that you have for your office has to be done with precision, and optimising the available space is going to be paramount in the productive areas in the office. All of your planning has to surround the areas of the space according to need.
The workstations need the right desks, chairs, screens and storage to be able to maximise the space properly. Individual space matters just as much as the collective space in the office and individual workstations with angled surfaces and rectangular desks need to be well-organised and compact enough to be comfortable.
The group workstations that are perfect for open plan offices encourage teamwork and communication, but they also have to be comfortable, so whether you are dealing with 2 person office workstations or 6 person office workstations, you need to think about the layout and look of your office along with the privacy and comfort of employees.
A successful office has successful ergonomic office workstations, and if yours is crippling you or your staff, you need a rethink! Studies have previously shown that the right, ergonomic design of your workspace reduces injuries and pain as well as boosting the productivity of staff.
We’ve put together some of the best practices and workstation equipment that you should think about investing in so that your staff are saved from any serious health issues.
The Right Fit
Before you can adequately plan your office workstations, you have to think about what your office needs. The basics include:
- Natural light
- Access to ventilation/fresh air
- Excellent lighting
- Temperate environment
The reason that these are all important is that together, they make up the space that suits your staff. Planning L shaped office workstations can only happen with the right environment. You need the workstations to be away from the glare of the light while still being seen. Staff need to have access to fresh air by the window, and the whole office should be of the right temperature so that everyone is comfortable.
The size of the office also matters, mainly if you’re looking for L shaped office workstations or corner workstations. The balance is vital in your planning, so pay careful attention to all of these aspects so that you can ensure that you get it right.
Office Workstations & Brand Reflection
Have you considered that the office furniture that you choose directly reflects your brand? You have to select office workstations that suit your business colours and style, and they even have to be the right personality fit. Is your brand young and enthusiastic? You may do well with communal 4 person office workstations that allow for better communication. Is the nature of your work essential and severe, requiring confidentiality? Then, you may need to think about cubicle style where your double-sided office workstations are soundproofed.
Impressing visitors and providing employee satisfaction is vital for your success. Marketing companies will always want to achieve a very different office look and feel to a law firm, so there are things to consider. An office workstations specialist can be called upon to help, so it’s important to know that there are experts on hand to be there for you when you are in the midst of your office planning.
It’s not just the layout of the office that you must consider. Your office needs to look and feel good, and for that, you need to consider the following:
The ergonomic office workstations that you choose are going to come in different materials and finishes, and this is where it can get overwhelming. You could choose between solid wood finishes and printed wood tones, cost-effective MFC and statement colours. You need to pick furniture of a high quality that fits your brand and what you are hoping to achieve.
What are your brand colours? The furniture that you choose should fit with your brand, and if you can include pops of bright colour, you’re going to see a significant difference in the productivity of your staff. Take your time to choose your colours – you want it looking impressive.
Office Workstation Layout
While you’re working on your planning, you need to think about the layout of your office and where it is that you want your teams to sit. Teamwork is essential for the camaraderie in the office, and while cubicle office workstations are great for privacy, there is a lot to be said for open-plan space. Let’s look at the layout options that you could look into:
Think of those large open plan spaces without walls and then think about the hustle and bustle of these offices. They allow for teamwork and brainstorming, and it looks like groups of desks together with open space – so no walls allowed. Each desk may be sectioned individually by partitions, but everyone can see each other.
Some offices may even prefer not to bother with partitions, preferring instead to have a smooth run, so each table bleeds into the other. Collaborative space allows for discussion and idea sharing as well as hot desking and freedom.
At the complete opposite side of the coin, you could opt for private workspaces. Sometimes, these are cubicles for each individual in the office, and other times this is just a layout with individual desks or desks with half-walls in between.
More serious industries prefer this way of working because of the lack of distractions and the need to discourage conversation and loud noise during the day. Quiet work can be so important in some industries, and this is where corner desks in offices come in handy.
This is a layout with a lot of walls and cubes for modern working. Noise is hushed, and extra light will need to be bought so that the partitions and walls won’t block it out.
Lastly, you could go for something entirely creative. Go for quirky and modern, with a mix of sitting desks and sit-stand person office workstations. You could go all out with colour and visual pointers, conference tables and interactive boards. Creative layouts reflect you as a modern brand, and you need to assess what workstation types work for you so that you get it right for your business.
Office workstations are more than just the single desks or the group desks, but these are such a big choice for your business. The desks that you choose will very much depend on the type of business that you are running and there is plenty to consider for your desk choices.
The Office Worker
You have to think about ergonomics first and foremost, and office workers have to spend up to eight hours a day at a desk looking at a screen. Office workers should have adequate storage on the desktop as well as under it so that there is no giant pile of paperwork to sift through.
One of the newest trends in the office furniture game is the sit/stand person office workstation. Standing desks are advised, as sitting down for that many hours in the day? That’s painful and ill-advised.
Not only can it lead to obesity, but it can also lead to bad circulation and heart issues. Standing desk workstations can help circulation, burn calories and less pressure on the spine. Sit-stand person office workstations can work well for those who want the choice during the day.
Did you know that different jobs require different desks of different sizes? Occasional visitors to the office won’t need large, sweeping workstations in the same way that an office manager might. It’s always better to overshoot the amount of space that you need, but if you want to get it right the first time, it’s a good idea to speak to a workstation specialist who will supply and install office workstations. They can talk you through what you should be purchasing for your space and what will fit.
The desk is the central point in an office; it draws the eye, and it’s the place where your staff are spending their time working. There are so many different designs when it comes to desks, from rectangular desks to cut out areas that help desks slot together. You can even get desks of different heights, and from the point of view of ergonomics, the height is the bit that counts!
If you purchase desks that are too high, you’re going to cause staff to develop repetitive strain injuries and pressure on the forearms. Go too low, and you’ll be hunched over and strain your neck and back – and that’s the least fun of all. Here are some of the top tips that you need for a desk at the right height:
- Legs should be under the desk comfortably
- Feet should stay flat on the floor, with space to stretch your legs
- Your arms should rest comfortably at 90 degrees
During the day, you want to be able to adjust your desk as you need to for comfort. Your workstation should be adjustable so that you can fight fatigue and prevent strain and injury. Sit stand desks are the perfect solution for your workstation woes, and desks where you can adjust height, are some of the most popular around. As they can allow you to adjust your whole workstation based on comfort, you could change the way that you work through the day because of it. It’s not always as easy to do when you’re adding in corner workstations, but it’s essential to choose desks carefully.
You may not be ready to redo the entire office, and if that’s the case then looking for adjustable desk accessories like desk risers or keyboard trays can really help.
We’ve covered the general office space, but when it comes to fitting in workstations and desks, your office layout is going to have a huge impact here. Striking a balance is going to make all the difference to your staff, and you want to make sure that everyone in the office has enough desk and movement space. Wasted space is literally costing you money; so don’t waste space, but don’t squash people in.
You don’t have to choose a uniform set of desks, either, so it’s something you should be aware of when you’re shopping around for office workstations. You can select a variety of shapes and sizes for your office workstations, and it’s a common thing to do in modern business today. One size doesn’t fit all, so look to speak to your team so that you can be on the same page when ordering your office workstations during a refit.
The Working Environment
When you’re considering desks and shapes, think about how your office desks will impact your whole working environment. Workstations can define how your business feels with clients and staff alike. Some companies will benefit from a cubicle layout, where others need the large wave desks down the middle of the room. Corner workstations, self-contained workstations and double sided office workstations all help to define your office space.
Open plan offices are usually perfect for larger modular bench systems, and those creative environments really benefit from these. You should never discount your office layout when choosing ergonomic office workstations: it all comes together as one package and getting it right will be impressive.
Whether you are sitting or standing to work, you need a chair of sorts regardless. You may not be able to sit for eight hours a day, but you also cannot stand for that time, either. The chair that you purchase for each office workstation is going to complement the desks that you choose as well as provide with the right support. Good office chairs support the pelvis and back, and they’ll help your posture and fatigue levels. As desks should be adjustable, chairs should be, too. The workstation puzzle is not complete without the right office chairs, and while you don’t necessarily need swivel chairs that race across the room, you do need to think about the options in front of you and how they support your back and neck to avoid pain. The factors to consider with your office chairs are many, but we’ve got a few here to break down for you:
- You need to be able to sit with your feet flat on the floor.
- Thighs should be parallel, too, so that you’re sitting evenly.
- Taller chairs should always have a foot rest with them so that you can reach where you need to with the proper angle in your legs.
- Legs should not be squashed between the desk and chair, either!
- Opt for chairs with a natural curve in the back for support
- Invest in lumbar pillows for the office as a back-up option
- Arm rests should factor in to support the forearms as you work, without resting your arms on them while you’re working.
- Cushioning is important
- Chair material should be breathable fabric, so you don’t get overheated
The Desk Layout
When you’ve sorted all your furniture, your staff then need to think about the layout of the desktop. Whether single sided office workstations or double sided office workstations have been purchased, thinking about the height of the screen is important. No one should have to strain their eyes to type, nor should they have to think about not being able to see their colleagues if the desk is open plan through the office.
Your office workstations have to feel like somewhere you can relax, create, negotiate, concentrate and motivate. This – believe it or not – can come with the right layout and ergonomic furniture, but you have to plan it correctly for it all to come together. Your business deserves the best so you need to think about what you and your staff need as well as what you want. The better you do with your workspace planning, the more comfortable the people who are working for you.
Getting the best office workstations Sydney has to offer comes with the best office workstations specialist who can supply and install office workstations while advising you on what to do with your office. Take the time to get the information that you need, and you’ll be able to have an office in which to be proud.