Many offices are still laid out on traditional office plans – secretaries in front, offices around the edge, the boss’s office way in the back – but exhaustive research has found that this traditional layout is not the best in several ways. Since the manager’s office is far away from his employees, productivity tends to suffer due to idling and procrastination, and many people will become too attached to their workspaces, filling them with knick knacks and collectibles that only serve to distract and impede workflow and productivity.
So how do you arrange an office to boost workflow while still maintaining employ morale and low turnover rates? Here are two key factors to take into consideration.
1. Open office plans.
In an open office plan, which is used by many of the most cutting edge companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft, there are no offices or full walls. Instead, employees are all out in the open all the time. The advantage of this is that the manager can keep an eye on what everyone is doing, and even if the manager is not watching, people act as if he could be. This is known as the “Panopticon effect.” Employees will also feel bad about neglecting their duties because it will hurt the workflow of the people who depend on them, who may also be watching.
2. No assigned seating.
Many offices have found that letting employees choose new desks every day leads to huge boosts in productivity. The main reason for this is that when people get attached to a desk, they view it as their home and naturally relax and slow down. Another factor is that people will become jealous of people with desks in better places. With free seating, people will also strive to arrive earliest to claim the best desks, boosting productivity even further.