One of the greatest perks of integrating office cubicles into your workplace are their flexible layout options. Cubicles can be chosen and set-out to reflect your own unique work culture, creating the optimal environment for your employees. Unfortunately, many companies fail to consider their employees day-to-day needs when setting up cubicles, resulting in an unhappy workplace and a need to entirely re-do the office layout down the road. These are the five most common office layout mistakes you will want to avoid.
1. No Common Meeting Areas
How you fill your space is just as important as what you fill it with. While employers are often faced with the decision to fit as many cubicles as possible into the office, they sometimes forget that their employees will need plentiful spaces to meet and collaborate outside of their desks. Be sure to create common meeting areas, as well as areas that can be closed-off for more important meetings.
2. Teams are Split Up
When you begin brainstorming your office layout, don’t forget to consider who will be sitting in those cubicles. Teams who are highly collaborative need to be placed closer together in order to easily bounce ideas off one another or discuss ongoing projects. When you don’t consider the employees who will be using the office cubicles, you can end up creating a workplace layout that doesn’t meet the needs of your staff and inhibits productivity.
3. Walls Obstruct Visibility
When choosing your office cubicles, the height of the walls should be an important factor in your decision. Most employees want walls that create privacy but also make it easy to ask questions and check-in with their colleagues. If they are too high, collaboration becomes more difficult. If they are too low, there is no feeling of privacy. Visibility is an important consideration, taking full advantage of the perks that cubicles bring to the workplace.
4. Departments are Too Spread Out
For some odd reason, one of the biggest layout mistakes is separating departments, making it cumbersome for employees to interact with those not in their immediate work area. It is usually necessary for employees in IT to collaborate with those in Marketing or Management to stay in touch with Human Resources. When you plan your layout, be sure that respective departments are still accessible to the others even if you decide to create a defined separation.
While defined departmental spaces are fine, be sure they are still accessible to each other.
5. No Open Space and Private Space Balance
If you want happy employees that stay productive, you need to be sure you create a place where they can have privacy as well as chill out when necessary. More and more research has shown that facilitating collaboration opportunity is the most important thing you can do as an employer. While office cubicles can provide privacy when necessary, creating an area such as an open kitchen or game room that allows employees to meet and relax in an informal way can seriously boost productivity in the workplace.
Before you set-up your workplace in an envisioned layout, consider asking employees for their wants and needs. After all, they are the ones who will be churning out the ideas, and integrating a few of their suggestions may be the difference between a successful design or another major office layout mistake.