They say there are no secrets to success. But if you ask us, there are plenty of measures you can take to give your business as much leverage as possible. And the first place to direct your attention is the work environment: your office.
By now, you should have determined how much space your business needs and exactly where to locate your office. You’ve reprinted your business cards with the new address, and your movers are on the way with all your furniture and other physical assets. The only question that remains is, how will you set up your office when everything arrives?
Like any type of interior design, the space should and will dictate the specifics of how you can arrange the furniture and how traffic will flow. Plus, post-COVID office needs have changed the way many companies structure their spaces. Nonetheless, there are still many types of office layouts you can try, depending on the needs and work dynamic of your team.
Here are five of the most common business office layouts that will keep your team productive and engaged.
Traditional Office Layout
When you picture a “traditional” office, do you picture a reception area at the entrance that leads to many separate, closed rooms? If so, you nailed this office layout. A traditional design has many “built-in” spaces that each have a different function (like meeting rooms) or are used by a specific individual (private offices). Privacy is a key feature of this layout, and it’s the safest design for the post-COVID office environment. This is a great layout for, say, medical offices, law practices, or work that requires focus and concentration. However, if your business is very small or very large, you could find it cumbersome. If you’re starting with an open space, it could require a considerable investment to construct. Plus, private offices require extra floor space, as well as separate heating and lighting, making them more expensive in the long run.
Cubicle / Low Partition Office Layout
If your team requires their own space to work, plan, or take calls, a cubicle office layout could work for you. Cubicles are workspaces created using partition walls on two or three sides to form a box. This style is more space efficient and cost effective than traditional private offices, while offering many similar benefits. The feeling of privacy and ownership of the space suits the needs of programmers, analysts, and technical staff, for instance. Plus, while cumbersome to move, cubicles are still more flexible to rearrange if needed than built-in offices. Cubicle walls vary in height, and low ones are referred to as “low partitions”. Many offices use cubicles in combination with senior offices and built-in meeting rooms (see the hybrid office layout below).
Open-Plan Office Layout
If communication and collaboration are what drive your business, you may want to do away with partition walls altogether. In that case, you can set up an open-plan office layout with banks of desks or multi-person worktables. Incorporate tables and lounge seating throughout the office to create informal meeting and collaboration areas. The flexibility (and affordability!) of this type of office means it’s easy to expand, contract, or rearrange work spaces to fix your changing needs. Open-plan layouts are often used by creative firms, tech startups, and even large organizations experiencing growth spurts. Any other built-in spaces, such as managers’ offices, are often made of glass to support the concept of an open office.
Team-Based Office Layout
If your business is large enough to be divided into teams, but small enough that each team does not yet need its own division, you may benefit from a team-based office layout. A team workspace will often include individual workstations and a collaboration space in place of a separate meeting room. In this case, a full floor can be divided into two or three zones, each designed for individual teams. Compared to other styles, the team-based layout makes it easier for companies to ease the flow of communication among employees. The size and space allocated to each team can vary depending on the type of work that needs completed. Consider this option for advertising agencies and corporate businesses.
Hybrid Office Layout
Not sure one of the office layouts above fits all your team’s needs? Try a combination! Often, senior managers will have traditional offices, and companies may desire a few separate rooms for meetings or break spaces. You can divide the rest of the office’s central space according to your needs. Employees have more control over where and how they work, which in turn improves both morale and productivity. As such, the hybrid office layout provides a balanced solution to the drawbacks found in open offices and cubicles. However, not every hybrid arrangement is created equal. Take care in the way you arrange the combination space to avoid facilitating the noise and distractions you’re trying to prevent.
Ready to Find the Perfect Office Layout for Your Business?
There is a lot to think about when starting your office search. However, by understanding your needs clearly up front, you’re sure to find the perfect office layouts for your needs. And your commercial real estate agent is by your side to help.
NAI Beverly-Hanks continually strives to be the best in the business and provide you with the expertise you need to find the perfect office space. Contact us today to speak with an NAI Beverly-Hanks commercial real estate agent about securing the perfect office space for your Western North Carolina business.