Designing a workspace arrangement at an office is about more than just installing some desks, ordering ergonomically-friendly chairs and plugging in phone lines. Although it differs from company to company, the way in which a workspace is arranged can have a drastic effect on how well employees work.
Momma always said, ‘Never play in traffic.’ The same can be said for office workspace arrangements. Human resources management must design a workplace that allows for adequate flow of office traffic to ensure safety and productivity for all employees.
Traffic also can be distracting if flow is not appropriately controlled around an office, says Paul H. Burton of the website Self Growth. For example, workers placed in high foot-traffic areas may have trouble holding their focus.
“The natural tendency to look up whenever someone passes by is instinctive,” he explains. “It’s probably a survival mechanism long-instilled in our psyche to observe the ‘threat’ before it consumes us.”
There are two ways to arrange workspace to better deal with traffic. The first position is an arrangement that allows employees to face those who approach the space. This way, workers won’t be distracted by movement in their peripheral vision because they can fully see their surroundings.
The second theory is that employees are better off with their backs to passing traffic. It works best to position desks against the wall as far from the door as possible. Pushing desks against the walls also frees up more space in the center of an office for meeting space and other needs.
Have you ever thought about if your office is designed to allow for productivity?