Planning for New Office Furniture
Is it time to update your office furniture? If your old cubicles or desks have started to look worn down or you are still using makeshift office furniture, it may be time to invest in a complete office system. Here are a few ideas on how to begin.
Acquire employee input
Your employees are the ones interacting daily with your office furniture, so they need to have a voice in choosing the new arrangement. What are their current problems with your office layout? What ideas do they have for an ideal system? Create a simple poll or survey to help gather information about what workers think. Often you can spot ways to increase efficiency or cut down on task-completion times by listening to employee opinions.
After understanding what employees want, start reviewing your office options to find what arrangements, cubicles, and furniture choices will meet the most goals. Fulfilling every demand is unlikely, but try to maximize the use of space and increase workplace efficiency whenever possible. It may help to make a list of all employee tasks and what those tasks require (such as making copies, working on data files, collaborating with other workers, etc.).
What to ask employees
Ask your employees what they feel creates a comfortable work space, then act on their responses to the extent your budget allows. This approach helps create an inviting work space, boosts morale, encourages productivity, and reduces the output lost to absenteeism and high employee turnover.
- How do you move around the office? Cubicle systems should be adaptable, conforming to foot traffic flow patterns and employee needs as your company grows.
- How much room do you need to do your job well? Cubicle systems need to be big enough to accommodate the office equipment and supplies needed to do the job.
- How much privacy do you need? Offices that deal in highly sensitive information need soundproofed cubicle systems to keep voices from carrying. Some offices also need cubicles with higher partitions to keep others from peeking over the top.
Aim for open spaces
The high-wall cubicle system can work well in large offices where employees need to avoid distractions as they work. Depending on your businesses culture you should could be looking for an open office arrangement. Choose cubicle walls that are low enough to see other employees at work; this encourages communication and problem-solving among the staff.
If your offices are especially small or low-key, consider doing away with cubicle walls altogether and using an open plan of flat desks and shelves to utilize your space effectively. You should also consider how natural light will be affected by any cubicle arrangement.
Individual or group workstation technology access
When purchasing new office furniture for your employees, whether it is individual desks, modular pods, or cubicle systems, keep in mind what technology these employees currently need to access, as well as possible future needs. Most offices will require that each station have adequate power sources as well as Internet access.
If your office is hard-wired versus wireless, then additional considerations will be needed for copiers and other high-tech equipment that employees need to access from their work areas. Some other aspects to keep in mind:
- Printer space. If your office does not have a group copier or if employees need access to an individual printer, make sure there is space in the workstation.
- Keyboard trays. Many older pods and cubicle systems do not offer keyboard trays at workstations. This may be acceptable for the occasional laptop user. If there are PC users, however, consider office systems that include keyboard trays.
- Monitor placement. Monitor screens will need to be set at a height that allows for viewing without placing a strain on the neck. Height and width considerations need to be taken into consideration for each workstation, as well. Graphic artists and architects, for example, may require much larger monitor screens than the standard office employee.
Consider noise, storage, and other important factors
With the help of employee input and a complete understanding of your work space needs, you will be ready to pick out the best furniture and the best office layout for your company. A little planning can go a long way in increasing your efficiency, so consider implementing a new system today!Ready to Compare Office Cubicles and Systems Price Quotes?