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What Type of Office Layout is Best for My Business?


Deciding on your office design is one of the most crucial decisions you will ever take for your business. Studies have shown that the right office layout can have a positive effect on your workers’ happiness and productivity, which should ultimately show up in your balance sheet.

Here The Gattinetts Business Centre, who provide office space to companies in Essex and Suffolk, look at some of the principal options.


Open Plan

This encourages the maximum level of collaboration between staff members, particularly if all the workstations are placed up against one another. It also potentially allows you to get more employees working in a smaller space.

One example of this is the bench desk, where you can have several people close together at one workstation. Hot-desking can also be part of this, allowing people to swap desks with one another (or those working part-time or from home) quickly.

Open plan encourages the sense of pulling together and getting things done quickly. This type of layout works well if your business doesn’t have a very hierarchical structure with lots of managers.


Private Office Space

Sometimes it’s essential to have a certain amount of privacy, even if you don’t have a rigid management structure. People may need to get on with tasks independently, which they can’t do if they are too close to someone else. Likewise, some people prefer privacy while they are working as they like having a personal space they can call their own.

So if you are unable to provide individual rooms, you can consider perimeter desk arrangements (around the outside of the office, facing the walls) so that no one is distracted by face to face interaction. Desk dividers or office partitions can also be used to create more privacy and shield employees from some of the noise. These may be necessary for quite some time anyway because of the coronavirus.

This type of layout works well in call centres where there may be a lot of separate phone calls going on at once. Generally private, well-defined spaces encourage the deep-focus needed for the work.


A Mixture of the Two

Cubicle offices or ‘pods’ will allow workers to have the best of both worlds  (i.e. the cubicles can be single, or arranged into two- or four-person arrangements). Similar to this is the idea of having an open office with separate sections for different teams. For example, different departments can exist separately with some careful use of glass partitioning.

This type of layout should also give you the flexibility that will enable you to boost your productivity.


The Break Area

It’s not just about what’s best for the business, it’s about what’s best for your employees. It is essential to have a dedicated space where people can relax, have a drink, snack, etc. Often, these areas end up being where some of the most productive collaborative work is done.


Don’t Forget Ergonomics

This means thinking about the health of your employees as well as the layout of the office. One part of this is the furniture that you choose. Choosing chairs that are ergonomically safe, adjustable, and fit for purpose will improve posture and reduce the risk of injuries such as a bad back.

For this reason, padded chairs with armrests are good for comfort if they are sitting for a long period of time. More modern or minimalist chairs are good if your workers aren’t sitting down for long. These types of chairs can also be moved around more easily, particularly if they are on casters or can swivel.

Standing desks are a good choice as well because they have a number of health benefits, including lower rates of obesity, cancer and other medical conditions.


Office Space in Essex from The Gattinetts Business Centre

The type of office layout you opt for will depend on the nature of your business, the number of employees you have, and their health.  At The Gattinetts Business Centre, we offer a variety of flexible office space to let for companies in Essex and Suffolk.

We also have workshops, storage spaces and industrial units to rent at our East Bergholt base – and If all of our units or offices are let, which due to our ongoing popularity they often are, we can put you on our waiting list and let you know when a unit becomes free.  Short-term leases (with a minimum period of 12 months) are the norm, and we are happy to talk to you about your individual requirements.

If you would like to know more, you can contact us by clicking on this link and filling out the online contact form.