Best Office Organization Ideas
for Fueling Creativity and Focus
When moving to a new office or refreshing the old one, it’s worth considering how to make the new physical environment more comfortable and inspiring. It’s not that work results directly depend on the desk color, window size or a number of bean bag chairs, but office layout influences them a lot. A thoroughly designed office layout helps employees avoid distractions, recharge throughout the workday, and find creative flow necessary for accomplishing their tasks. So how to organize the office to match team culture and make work more enjoyable?
Things to remember when planning the office
When organizing physical workspace to match team’s goals and requirements, follow the rules that work for any office layout. Here are some guidelines on how to organize office space to be comfortable for everyone.
Figure out what works for your team
Is your team a group of creative professionals who need constant inspiration? Or do your team members need a quiet atmosphere to focus on research and analysis? Not all office environments work for everyone: the optimal layout depends on the nature of your work and employees’ individual preferences.
Organize the office according to your work specifics. Also, don’t forget to collect feedback from your team members on what’s important for them.
Ensure privacy and security
“Our team members are honest and would never steal anything from each other”, many would say here. However, subconsciously, the feeling of insecurity prevents people from staying focused on work tasks. Make sure that there’s enough private space in your office, install locks on some drawers, and use privacy screens.
Also, ask employees about how they’d prefer the office and their workplaces to be configured. For example, while some don’t mind sitting with their back to the door, for others this will invite constant feeling of insecurity and turn into a major distraction.
Reduce noise and consider sound privacy
Noise is one of the worst enemies of productivity at the office. If you have creative employees or researchers that need to immerse in their work tasks, think of organizing noise-free workplaces for them. If it’s not possible, provide noise-cancelling headphones as a part of workplace equipment.
Another important thing here is sound privacy. Its lack in open plan offices makes employees feel insecure and takes additional time for answering personal calls, causing enormous performance decrease. Talking to an employee about their performance issues or mistakes also requires some sound privacy. Isolated rooms for meetings and chats can solve this problem.
Ensure easy interaction and collaboration
It’s a proven fact that active communication within a team positively influences work results. So, when planning an office, it’s definitely worth thinking of ways to make communication and collaboration easier. However, if some of your team members struggle with office distractions and work better when not engaged in constant communication, think of organizing separate spaces for them to reduce distractions and contribute focusing.
The more natural light the better
Natural light fuels mental activity and charges us with energy. We feel more awake and energized during the day, so it’s worth finding an office room with big windows and organizing workstations by the windows. White desks also work great, as well as adding mirrors and, in low-light seasons, taking down the blinds.
Set up a health or wellness zone
Sitting is the new smoking, scientists say. The harmful effect of eight-hour sitting affects eyes, spine, brain, and the rest of your body. That’s why setting up health and wellness zones is a good idea for any office. Organizing a wellness space in an office is not necessarily an expensive undertaking: just a zone for exercising with a yoga mat and a bar can be sufficient.
Office layout ideas
Let’s take a look at some ideas of how to organize an office space depending on the nature and culture of your team’s work. Specific workplace types work differently for different teams and individuals: while providing a comfortable workspace to ones, they turn into a dysfunctional environment for others. So define what your team needs, and adapt the office space to its requirements and preferences.
A layout that works perfectly for open plan offices: large open spaces, desk clusters, and easy accessibility of all employees to each other. The less walls and room dividers the better: this ensures active communication and impromptu meetings. Clustered desks often work as conference spaces, but private conference rooms are also necessary in this layout: they work for calls, private conversations, and other communication that should not involve the entire team.
This layout perfectly works for teams where information exchange is key – for example, journalists. However, it can be an extremely distracting environment for employees who need to stay focused on analytical work.
The contrary to the previous layout idea: an office created for maintaining focus and concentration. Individual spaces, additional dividers in large rooms, privacy screens – everything employees need for immersing in their work. Not everyone needs constant communication flow to perform their work properly, so if your team consists of researchers, analysts, developers etc., it’s worth organizing a focusing layout.
It’s tempting to call this office organization type an “anti-social office”, but actually this effect is something to avoid in any layout. Make sure that there are conference rooms in your office for running meetings, and recharge spaces are available to the employees to grab a coffee, chat, and switch off from work.
Creativity flow can appear in any environment, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t require additional inspiration! Organizing an office with a creative atmosphere fuels inspiration and encourages generation of new ideas. Make the office for a creative team as visual as possible: pops of color and graphics on the walls, white boards for developing new ideas and concepts, and large spaces for free communication and cooperation.
This layout should also include some private spaces for communications and focusing: sometimes, creative process runs better without distracting conversations, noise, and ideas unrelated to the concept you’re working on.
Staying healthy is a priority for many office employees who notice negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. So why not turn the office into a space where employees can combine hard work with healthy habits? Organize exercising rooms and equip them with yoga mats, monkey bars or other fitness equipment.
If it’s not possible to set up a wellness zone in a dedicated room, clearly mark the floor in common spaces as a “fitness zone”. In the work areas, consider equipping workplaces with standing desks or treadmill desks – but allow some flexibility. Often, people who are enthusiastic about using a standing desk switch back to sitting after they face the negative effects of standing: discomfort, tiredness in feet, etc.
Finding the right concept of how to organize the office to fuel active and efficient work is a creative task with an analytical background. Find out what your team members expect and need, figure out what processes you want to simplify and encourage, and plan a layout to match the nature of your team’s work. It’s not necessary here to follow a single concept: combine various ideas, adapt them to the needs of different teams and employees, and implement them according to your available resources.
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