Desk Layouts and Efficiency

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Let’s face it…we all work differently.  When it comes to your personal work area, everyone has a certain way they prefer to set it up.  Some like open storage so they can easily access their supplies, others hate clutter and like to put everything behind doors or in drawers and boxes.  While many workers spend 6-8 hours at their desk every day, there are also those who are only in their office a few hours each week.  The layout of your personal workspace should reflect the kind of work you do and help you more efficiently carry out your daily tasks.  It’s not the same for everyone!

Imagine this: your job requires a lot of paperwork, but your desk does not have enough storage.  You end up walking over to the filing cabinet on the other side of the room 30 times a day to file documents.  Or, imagine the exact opposite.  Your work is almost paperless, and you would rather have a minimalistic workspace but you have a workstation full of files and overhead bins.  It makes you feel claustrophobic.  How can both problems be solved?  Through analysis of each worker’s needs and efficient workplace design.

If you are planning an office space redesign and want to make sure you are creating the best space for you to work in, here are some things to consider:

  • Does your desk have the amount and type of storage you need?  As in the above example, not everyone will necessarily need the same type of storage.  For those that have piles of paper, consider extra file cabinets for long-term storage and file sorters for items that may still need to be accessed.  For those who work mainly on the computer, a simple set of drawers for writing utensils or personal items will do.
  • Do you have sufficient surface area in your work station or desk?  While typically more work surface is better, it is not always necessary for every worker.  Call centers, for example, tend to have small work stations since their employees do not need much more than a phone and a computer.  The same would be true for workers such as outside sales reps who may need a place to plug in a laptop for a few hours each week but do not need a full desk of their own.  Those who work a full 8 hours at their desk may need more room to spread out papers, catalogs, drawings, or other documents.  Make sure you are not wasting space where it is not needed, while also giving plenty of space where it is needed.

  • Do you have any general complaints about your existing workspace?  Clearly this question can be a little trickier as it opens the floodgates for you to think about every detail you hate.  But as you think about it, keep in mind that this question is more about the overall space, not necessarily your work station (those have already been covered!).  For instance, are there a lot of people who complain about too much noise, or think it’s too dark and closed in?  For noise reduction acoustic solutions can be explored, while a slightly more open layout may help people to not feel so cramped and in the dark.

Whether you are adding to your existing furniture or starting from nothing, try and take into account the needs of your personal work space.  Not only could this improve the efficiency, it can also boost morale!  Happy you = more success for your business!

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