Many offices these days update their office layout to keep up with the modern trend of more collaborative open-plan designs. No matter what type of business you run, you should aspire to have comfortable and happy employees. It’s proven that designing an office layout ergonomically results in happier and generally more productive employees.
The type of office layout you choose must be based on the type of activities your staff carry out and your storage requirements. If your employees spend most of their time engaged with computer tasks and not many phone activities then an open-plan layout will work for you. Levels of noise pollution are higher in open-plan layouts but they promote better communication and a sense of teamwork. For telecommunication-based jobs, a modular workstation layout will work better. In this layout, furnishings and panels are used to divide the space into individual workstations. This allows privacy and storage for every employee. For further reading, check out our article about ‘office ergonomics‘.
The standard size for most office desks is 70-75 cm tall. This is the ideal sitting height for people between 5’8 and 5’10 tall with a standard chair. You should select a desk that is at this height or even consider getting height adjustable desks (sit-stand desks). Ideally, the desk you select should have some adjustable features even if it is the set-and-forget kind. However, if it doesn’t, you should make sure you have an adjustable chair available.
An ergonomic office chair helps to prevent injuries associated with sustained computer use and supports good posture. Keeping your employees comfortable and reducing operator tiredness should be a priority. The more relaxed your staff is, the more productive they will be. A good office chair will be easily adjustable, at least 40 cm off the floor, have good lumbar support, plenty of padding, a swivel feature and wheels to move around the workstation easily. You can view our range of ergonomic office chairs here.
Every computer monitor should be at arm’s length. When it’s too far away, it will cause eye strain. If your employees use two monitors equally they should be centred. In the case of one monitor being used more than the other, the primary monitor should be centred too. Advise your staff that their eyes should be levelled with the top of the screen.
The lighting in your office should be bright and light up workstations without causing eye strain. Having the right light level in your workplace will help prevent tiredness and lack of concentration. Light levels are measured in Lux and the standard level for workstations is 500 Lux. However, staff variables such as age should be taken into account because studies show that lighting between 750-1000 Lux increases the working performance of elder staff.
For years, there has been a great debate over what the ideal office temperature is. As a rule, many people agree with the standard 21°C. However, you may find your staff is a varied bunch and some may be more susceptible to cold. If this is the case, you can raise the temperature to 24°C and everyone should be happy.
Take into account the unique differences of your staff, then create an office layout that maximises their comfort and productivity. One of the most important aspects of a productive work environment is an office chair with adjustable back support. Providing your employees with chairs that can be adjusted to the specific heights they need is a must. You can learn about more office layouts here.