Professionals employed in office environments typically either 1) work in a private office or 2) work in an open layout model. There are pros and cons associated with each strategy, but the ultimate success (or lack thereof) of an office design choice depends most on the execution of the plan. At the end of the day, creating an effective office layout is a matter of getting the best out of the space available. To that end, today we’ll focus on private office layout, and explain how business leaders can optimize these areas.
Value the Practical
Though this is not always the case, many private offices are reserved for employees operating at the executive level. And, for better or worse, there’s an expectation of what an executive office should look like. Think large bookshelf, gaudy desk, and wood-paneled cabinets. Yet, as impressive as these items look, they’re not always practical. The business world has moved on, but many executive offices still feel like they were designed for the TV show Mad Men.
True, sometimes executives do need to entertain clients or visitors in their office. However, they shouldn’t sacrifice their productivity to potentially impress clients with an impractical design. Private offices should contain all of the amenities a modern professional needs –– such as space for multiple monitors, furniture to hold meetings, and, in some instances, a partition to allow others to work in the office as well. In short, the first priority of office design should be practicality.
Effective office design balances a professional’s need to privacy with their need to collaborate with their team members. Private offices, by their nature, can sometimes isolate professionals and cause them to fall out of touch with their team. Don’t let this happen. Instead, designers can create private offices that contain movable furniture to accommodate meetings. An extra set of chairs and a well-designed desk can also go a long way toward making a private office more accessible to visitors. Lastly, private offices should be strategically placed to promote workflow. If a professional has to walk down a long hallway or traverse the entire length of the building just to get in contact with their coworkers, then miscommunications are almost certain to occur as a result.
Layout 101 Tips
Regardless of whether a company opts for private offices or an open office design, there are a few layout tips that are universally beneficial. They include:
- Exposure to sunlight. Private offices can sometimes feel dark –– especially if they’re placed within an office interior. Compensating for lack of sunlight isn’t easy, but it is possible with the right lighting.
- Cleanliness. It’s easy for an office to fall into disarray. Cluttered papers, tangles of wires, and personal possessions can all muddle a workplace environment. Still, it’s important to keep all workspaces clean and free of detritus.
- Personalization. All employees value the ability to personalize their workspace. Private offices in particular should reflect the personality and interests of the inhabitant. As such, don’t be afraid to customize a private office to suit a worker’s needs and priorities. This, more than any other single factor, could hold the key to sustaining high levels of employee motivation and job satisfaction.
As we’ve touched on above, the choice between an open layout and private offices isn’t an either/or proposition. Instead, many companies balance the two well. What’s most important is following the tenets of quality design. Fortunately, the team at Key Interiors has decades of experience helping businesses reshape and renovate their office spaces for the better. If you’re looking to shake things up at your workspace, then contact us today. Or, for more information about open office vs private office plans, check out our free eBook here: