One lingering misconception about office furniture today is that a desk is just a desk, and storage is merely storage. That is no longer true! Yes, we can achieve similar looks and layouts across an office space with multiple manufacturers. But some manufacturers are innovating and creating unique pieces that function in a way to better support daily work routines. Here are a few things to consider when creating new workspaces.
Furniture can be designed to fit the individual. It isn’t cookie cutter layouts that are placed into a space no matter the size of room or obstacles. We understand that an HR Director and Sales Associates have different needs in their work space. We would utilize more storage with locking capability for HR, and would make the chair uncomfortable for the Sales Associate so they get out and sell… just kidding! We actually would create the space for Sales Associates differently depending on the individual needs. Maybe there’s little to no need for storage, or we might recommend a “touchdown” area for the sales team because that fits their work routine. The point is that within one work area, we create multiple layouts and designs to make each team member the most efficient and effective.
Filing and storage placement is important. Traditionally, all of your files and documents were expected to fit into your work space. Often, this can become overwhelming and counterproductive for the individual. For either a private office or cubicle setting you should prioritize your filing. Items you need daily are the ones placed in the storage within arm’s reach. For items accessed less often, you can place them in a separate storage “island” that has filing for everyone and can double as a meeting area. Another option that has come into design lately is storage under the corner of the desk (as shown in both examples below). Prioritizing your filing not only keeps your immediate area neater, it allows you to focus on the items that are most important to you without the distraction of unused files or clutter. Creating these multi-use zones not only increases the efficiency of the real estate footprint in the office, it also helps you become more organized and focused.
Think about the way you work. Do you have organized piles of paper or scattered heaps on your desk? Whatever side you fall on, there is a new design for work environments that can help you stay on task with paperwork. Utilizing multi-level surfaces helps separate our To-Do pile or the scattered papers from overtaking your workspace. By simply setting the return surface at a different height than your main surface, you can create a stacking space. How many times have you been working on one item, then see something on the pile that makes you think “I NEED TO FINISH THAT ONE FIRST!”? Keeping separate areas will help you focus on the immediate project and then move onto the next. You will find you actually get a lot more done with this type of set up! It’s a simple design but it helps immensely with organization of those piles and scatters.
These three concepts in designing a work space can make a huge difference in your new space or office remodel. Working with an office furniture provider with their own team of Space Planner/Designers, like Eakes, is instrumental to uncovering the needs of your organization and creating workspaces that meet the needs of the individual. Contact a Furniture Specialist if you’re ready to take the next step in supporting the way you work.