How to plan your office
Undoubtedly, the first factor of a company’s success is the quality of the goods or services provided. But do not forget about the representative nuances – the impression made on partners and clients also depends on how the office of the company looks. Office zoning will help to present it in the right light, as well as organize the workspace as efficiently as possible.
What is office zoning
It is the process of allocating office space into functional areas in order to:
• increase labor productivity
• correctly organize the ergonomic space
• improve the emotional state of employees
• customers and partners were disposed to make decisions that are beneficial to you.
The office can be divided into two large areas: the front office and the back office.
It is the first part that bears the representative load. The front office is where negotiations, meetings with clients, presentations take place, in a word, everything that is public that happens in the company. It is the front office that is responsible for the presentation function – it is worth carefully working out the design: taking into account the corporate colors and symbols, thinking over the decor elements to the smallest detail, furnishing the premises with furniture that emphasizes the company’s image. This area includes a hall, a lobby (reception / waiting area), a meeting room, a manager’s office.
When someone enters the office, the first thing they do is the lobby, and they should like it here. The lobby, which will make a good impression on the visitor, is designed to be comfortable – if the reception and waiting areas are thought out correctly, then the atmosphere here is also inviting.
Reception is a place for receiving and coordinating visitors, working with correspondence. This area should be functional, comfortable, and memorable, therefore its ergonomics should be carefully considered. However, now the division of the lobby into a hall, a reception, and a waiting area is rather arbitrary, and in one room, as a rule, there is a reception desk, upholstered furniture for waiting, wardrobes or hangers for outerwear.
While waiting, the visitor can get acquainted with some materials for the company – this way you use his time in the lobby for the benefit of the company.
In the meeting room, or as it is called otherwise, the negotiation area, closed meetings and open events (for example, presentations) are held. Depending on the scale of the company’s activities, the design of the meeting room is also thought out, because it can be either a small room for meeting with clients or a large hall for large events. In any case, it is always advisable to decorate the negotiation zone using the symbols and corporate colors of the company, as well as pay attention to sound-absorbing materials.
To ensure that events do not interfere with the work process, a separate room is allocated in which a table is selected for the required number of people, chairs, and media devices for presentations. It is advisable to choose transforming furniture, changing the location of which the room can be used both for group work and for individual concentration.
For formal negotiations, it is still better to allocate a separate room; for internal informal meetings, non-isolated zones are suitable.
The back office is where all the company’s work processes take place. Such premises include workspace, recreation areas, kitchens, dressing rooms, server rooms, archives and libraries, utility rooms.
Office zoning in the working area can be designed according to two principles: cabinet and open.
Cabinet zoning of the working area assumes the presence of isolated rooms for each employee (or group of employees). In this case, each separate office corresponds to a specific functional unit (technical department, accounting, etc.).
Office zoning according to an open type of workspace organization (or open space) does not imply stationary walls in the interior; it is possible to use light mobile or glass partitions separating one department from another or one workplace from the rest. This is convenient since the absence of unnecessary corridors and doors saves office space. Furniture can also be structured, but it is best to place it in such a way as to provide workers with a “closed back” feeling and a good view of the workplace.
To work well, you need quality rest. In addition, in the recreation area, employees not only relax but also discuss business issues in an informal calm atmosphere. Even if it is impossible to allocate a separate office, it is enough to fence off such a place with a partition, put small sofas or comfortable chairs and organize the right lighting. It is better to locate the recreation area at the intersection of traffic flows in the office, in a busy place.
When equipping a relaxation area, think of it not as a place to laze around during the working day, but as an informal meeting room. This is where the most difficult work tasks can be viewed from a different angle and find their most effective solution.
The list of other premises included in the back office is individual for each company, they are thought out in accordance with their functional purpose.
Thinking over the functional areas of the office is not an easy task. An experienced architect/designer will help you not to get confused about the little things and take into account all the most important things.
Office zoning is important. It helps to think over the ergonomics of the office, optimize work processes, and make the best impression on visitors.
The front office should be as comfortable as possible for clients and partners, the back office is thought out so that it is convenient for employees to work. It is imperative to take care of the comfort of employees! Do not skimp on quality materials for decoration and good furniture – by respecting your employees, you make a significant contribution to the optimization of all work processes.