Boosting office productivity with workstations
If you walk through any modern workplace, you will notice that open-plan office fit-outs are often selected. Open-plan workspaces are great for maximising the space you have available in the office, however, it is also useful for boosting collaboration and productivity with your team. This is the space that your team will spend the majority of their time in, so it is vital to get your design right. You can achieve this through the use of workstations.
What is a workstation?
A workstation is the personal working space your team members have in the bigger open-plan office space. The traditional idea of a workstation is the basic desk and chair setup. However, there are a number of different configurations you might now consider, including workstation cubicles, modular wrap-around workstations, or pods of desks.
What are the benefits of workstations for the team?
By designing a workspace that utilises open-plan working and workstations, you’ll:
- Create a team environment. With everyone working together in the same space, team members will have more opportunities to socialise together, and develop bonds and unique team culture.
- Get some vitamin D! By choosing an open-plan space with workstations and fewer walls, you’ll allow more natural light to fill the office.
- Encourage management to be more approachable. By having all levels of employees within the same space, you will help develop the perception that management is also part of the team.
- Break down barriers. With everyone sitting in the same space, distinct “teams” won’t be separated, which will encourage employees to speak directly to other departments and collaborate with each other.
- Make the space feel bigger. People naturally expand into the space they are in, and by removing the boundaries that separate rooms, people will feel more at home. This can make your whole office feel larger than it actually is.
How do I select a workstation for my office?
There are a number of different factors that will impact how well the space performs, including how the furniture is positioned, the type of furniture you choose, the lighting and of course the number of people in the space.
It is important when selecting a workstation when designing your office fitout to balance the amount of privacy that your employees need to be able to perform their work, without stifling the benefits of open-plan working.
Cubicles can create an unnecessary waste of space, so if the work your team is undertaking is not sensitive in nature, modern workstations with shared space are preferred for maximising the use of your office space, as well as boosting collaboration. If you’d like your team to have some privacy while completing work at their desks, you might like to consider low-walled cubicles which still allow collaborative work to take place. You will also want to consider the equipment needed for your team to do their work – the size of the desk required will differ greatly between a person using a single laptop and someone who requires three monitors.
The ergonomics of your designs should also be considered. Your team will spend a large portion of their time at work at their desk, so it is important to select desks and chairs that are ergonomically designed. You may also want to consider an adaptable desk system that can be configured for a sitting or standing desk.
Most importantly, the layout of your office is key. The layout of your open-plan workspace plays a large part in the productivity of your team. Placing desks directly next to each other, will reduce the distance between team members and therefore improve teamwork. However, this may not always be practical depending on the nature of your office space.
If your selection of desks and workstations is not going to fit into your office space or will make it cluttered, you will need to consider an alternative. For example, if space is limited, modular wraparound workstations may not be practical, so you may need to select desk partitions instead. If you have unused space, you might consider utilising occasional contemporary furniture to turn spaces into breakout collaboration areas.
The IC Corporate Interiors team are commercial office fitout Melbourne specialists and can work with you from the initial concept of your workstations to installation. Feel free to call on (03) 8802 9630 for your free on-site consultation, measure and quote.