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When planning your office space there are many things that you need to consider so that it functions properly. Workplaces should be flexible, include the latest communication technology and motivate employees. Whether it’s an individual or team workstation, or an open-plan area – the right solution for you depends on your corporate culture and the departments that need to work together. The shape of the room plays a major role. However, there are a few things that apply regardless of whether the office is for an individual or a team.

Important questions to consider before redesigning your office space

  • What do we want to achieve in our space?
  • Who’s the space for?
  • Which departments need to work closely together?
  • How many people will use the office space? à Will we be hiring any people in the near future?
  • Do our employees need designated workstations?
  • What about social space? Is there a space where employees can go to have an informal chat?

How to make it ergonomic:

Workstation solutions

Sitting at a desk for extended periods of time is not actually very good for our posture nor our backs. Have you thought about including a height adjustable desk in your configuration? It allows the user to change quickly from sitting to standing and comes in motorised and manual (gas lift) versions. It’s important to use an antifatigue mat when standing.

Power and data cables

What to do with all those pesky cables? Easy – use a cable management hole to group them together and organise them in a cable management basket underneath the desk.

Monitor height

Make sure your monitor is at the right height as a monitor at an incorrect height puts extra strain on your neck and can lead to pain and problems. An ideal monitor height is when the top of the screen is at or slightly below eye level. The monitor should be about an arm’s length away from you and a bit more if the screen is very large. Consider investing in a monitor arm as this allows for an incredibly easy adjustment of height and distance, which is particularly important if you are using a height adjustable workstation.

Ergonomic seating

Invest in a good quality ergonomic office chair. An ideal office chair is adjusted to the user. As we are different heights and shapes, we have different needs when it comes to office seating. A 3-lever swivel chair with a gas lift allows for a lot of adjustment for the height, back and seat of the chair. Also include an adjustable footrest as this helps circulation and posture. Comfortable ergonomic seating not only affects our productivity, it affects our general wellbeing by avoiding chair related back pains and increases our overall performance at work.

Lighting

Lighting impacts our productivity, wellbeing, mood, health, and depression. Natural lighting is really important in an office space. However, some days are just not very sunny, or your workstation isn’t very close to a window. Walk around your office to work out which areas do not receive adequate daylight. The best way to fix this is to use overhead lighting and daylight lamps. Also be careful not to place your monitor in direct daylight or you will find yourself frustrated with the glare on a daily basis.

Décor

Plants, artwork, and company branding create an environment that is more aesthetically pleasing, which increases mood and productivity of employees. It’s best to involve the employees in picking out the artwork or to give them a small budget for décor as art is in the eye of the beholder. We’re not talking about a few knickknacks on the desk that create clutter but rather a signature piece on the wall to brighten moods. Be careful not to overdo it, it should be pleasing but not overwhelming to staff and visitors nor creating any tripping hazards.

Layout

Leave some space open. An open floor plan with plenty of space to move about creates a vibrant environment and avoids employees feeling claustrophobic.

It’s important to think 6 to 12 months into the future. Is this space always going to house just you or four employees or do you plan to expand the company? These are important questions that need to be answered before you plan your layout or purchase any furniture.

If you have an open office layout, use screens between your employees’ workstations. This creates an atmosphere of privacy for each employee and reduces noise. Screens can even be attached to height adjustable desks nowadays!

Noise

Does sound carry a lot in your office? If an office space is too noisy, employees might find it hard to think. It might be worth investing in some acoustic panels on the ceiling or walls to stop noise from bouncing.

To find out more and to get a personalised solution for your office space needs, talk to us today at WEMA.

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