Choosing good quality office furniture is fundamental in creating a comfortable and productive workplace. However, knowing how to place office furniture is also important to showcase the furniture and give your employees an office interior layout that works well for them.
A well-organised office makes it easier to move around, to store and retrieve important documents and to work without feeling uncomfortable or developing repetitive strain injuries.
Here are five top tips for how to place office furniture in a way that’s pleasant to look at, comfortable to work within, and maximises productivity and output throughout the working day.
Where not to place office furniture is just as important as where to place it. Open space is crucial to allow employees to move around, for safety in an emergency, and to give everyone a sense of comfort and spaciousness.
Keep entrances clear and avoid clustering large, heavy furniture such as floor-to-ceiling storage cabinets, in one part of the office. By dotting them around, you prevent any one area from feeling overly cluttered, and give everyone easier access to storage nearby.
Natural light can help offices to feel more spacious. In areas well away from windows, give employees a choice of bright overhead lighting and controllable task lighting, so they can give their eyes a rest over the course of the day.
You want your office layout to feel balanced, so extend the tip above to include the visual impact of different items of office furniture. Try to have roughly equal numbers of cabinets, cupboards, desks and shelves in different areas.
If you can’t balance items exactly, it’s not the end of the world. However, you may still be able to achieve a more balanced aesthetic, for example by placing a clock, notice board or wall art flat against one wall, to match the visual of a deeper piece of furniture placed elsewhere.
High-quality office furniture is designed to look great, as well as to be ergonomic during use, so choose some statement pieces and make them focal anchor points for your overall office interior design.
Office environments are rarely static for long, so be ready to reconfigure your office furniture layout to accommodate changes in team size, management hierarchy, or anything else that affects where your employees and line managers need to sit and work.
Modular office furniture is a fantastic way to achieve this. Just add more segments to modular seating to extend it, or to add a different configuration of arm rests and side tables. Modular office sofas can have optional back rests, or can be bench-style to allow seating access from both sides.
By using modular office furniture, you can create comfortable breakout areas, divide larger spaces into smaller ‘virtual’ rooms, and make the best use of open-plan office floors without having to put up any stud walls or temporary partitions.
Although open space can make offices feel comfortable and healthy, sometimes employees need privacy, whether that’s to discuss confidential business, or just a personal desire to work away from the noise and hubbub of the rest of the office.
If your office layout is dominated by open-plan or you’re still deciding how to arrange office furniture in a new workplace or refurbishment, consider whether private work booths could be the key to your office productivity.
Private work booths and individual office pods create cubicle-style spaces for employees to work in privacy and confidentiality and can be conducive to productivity when individuals need to focus on demanding or time-consuming tasks.
Not all of your workstations need to be assigned to a designated individual. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, more offices are allowing employees to work flexibly, and even when the pandemic is no longer a health concern, remote working can save on overheads and keep employees happy by reducing the daily commute.
Modular office furniture is again a great way to make sure you still give everyone the workspace they need, with comfortable hotdesking areas that can adapt to the changing nature of your flexible workforce in the years ahead.
Give your employees good quality office furniture and they will feel valued, even when they do not have an assigned workstation of their own. When you factor in the added bonus of reducing your office operating costs and capitalising on the positive lessons learned over the past few years, it’s a no-brainer.