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- Why Usability Should Be The Most Important Design Consideration
When setting up an office for a new business there is an awful lot of planning that has to go into the project, more so than you’d imagine. If you were to have asked me to design an office layout 3 years ago I’d have said ‘easy, come back to me in a few hours and it will be done’ – though it wasn’t until I actually had to do it for real that I learned just how much thought has to go into it.
More often, what happens is that a manager or some other high up person will dictate where they think the furniture goes to best serve the needs of the company and save as much space as possible with the only real concern being that and making sure the employees aren’t distracted frequently. While we can see how constant talking and back and forth between colleagues about last night’s soaps can just seem like a cut and dry waste of time, there is method behind the madness.
Contrary to the mindset of most managers, this does not mean that you will be more productive just because you are not distracted, there are healthy levels of interaction and cross communication that happens in an office environment, after all it’s in our human nature. As long as that human behavior is not distracting from the task at hand or not a serious waste of time, then what’s the harm.
For a start, you need to be conscious of the space that you have available and roughly how many people you are looking to fit inside, comfortably. A lot of people skimp on space and try to squeeze as many desks into one space as possible, though not only is this impractical but it can also be detrimental to the performance and health of your workers.
It is very important to ensure that you allow enough room to install spacious office work stations for your staff to give them room to breathe and perform well without touching elbows with their colleagues. You can find a wealth of various spacious office workstations that are perfect for allowing your team the space that they require to perform optimally.
It is always good to have your team spaced out on various islands, facing toward one another. The old fashioned exam room style layout is dated and encourages people to keep their heads down and keep themselves to themselves; whereas allowing your staff to face and interact with one another boosts productivity and increases the level of team work in the office.
Treat your team to modern office furniture.
When kitting out your office it is always important to bear your staff in mind and spend that little extra on quality furniture. Too many employers go out of their way to buy the cheapest office equipment to save money and inevitably end up with impractical furniture that breaks far too easily and renders their team uncomfortable and dissatisfied.
You should consider the ergonomics of office furniture and endeavor to purchase chairs that are designed with the health and safety of office workers in mind. There are ergonomic chairs that offer greater support for the back and neck which allows you to sit for greater periods of time without causing any discomfort. While these tend to be slightly more expensive than your factory standard office chair, it is worth every penny in the long run when you invest in the health and well-being of your workforce. After all, they are the backbone of your business, so you must ensure you take care of theirs.
As it is echoed by many office fitout contractors, employees cannot be expected to perform their tasks efficiently if their mind is distracted by a persistent back injury or by a desk that is unsuitable for their height. Whoever you choose to assist with your office renovations should be consulted on this to help your workplace grow from a cramped uncomfortable nightmare, to a well-furnished and smartly planned work environment.
For more information on the types of office furniture and ergonomics you can find a number of websites where you will discover all of the knowledge required to successfully and safely kit out your workspace with modern office furniture in style.