Whether you have a big UK office or a small one, you can’t ignore the importance of its seating plan. The seating plan can really affect the productivity of your employees, whether you like it or not. So when it comes to arranging the seating plan in your office, there are some crucial factors to consider.
Consider your organisation’s departments and functions
Organising an office seating plan is much like arranging a seating plan for a dinner party – you have to know where to seat everyone. You can’t just haphazardly fix the seating arrangement and hope for the best. In this regard, the first thing to determine is your organisation’s functions.
How many departments do you have? The staff of one department needs to be seated with each other, i.e., you can’t place an accounting employee next to an IT employee. Seating departments together will ensure a smoother flow of operations. If employees need to confer with each other, as they so often do, it will be easier for them to visit each other’s workstations.
Most offices nowadays have an open plan, so you can work with this as well. Once you have divided the office into different departments, assess which departments can sit near each other. Which departments communicate on a regular basis? For instance, the accounting staff may need to constantly visit the purchasing staff, so it would make sense to place their sections next to each other.
Consider the relationships and personal quirks of employees
Now it’s time to get down to the details. When you have determined the location and seating plan of each department, it’s time to delegate the actual seating arrangement for each individual. Talk to some employees to find out which ones get along with others, and which ones should be placed as far away from each other as possible. Also, find out which ones are in a relationship, are close friends, or are considered extroverts who can mix well with anyone. You may want to place experienced staff alongside new staff, and you may want to separate genders. Again, this depends on the type of organisation you have and how you think everyone can relate to each other and still remain productive.
For those who have some quirks, such as people who talk too loudly on the phone, you need to be a bit more careful. It might be a good idea to place these individuals farther away from other staff, or locate them in their own corner where they can still see the entire office and other people but not be in too close proximity with them.
Consider the office ergonomics
Whilst the personal relationships amongst staff is important when finalising your seating plan, it is also important to consider the overall ergonomics of the office. There should be enough space in-between each workstation so employees can move comfortably around. Staff should also have enough space on their own desks. Give them the proper equipment such as high quality and comfortable office chairs to promote efficiency, and make sure the break room and WCs are easily accessible and clean. The temperature in the office should be comfortable, and too much lighting can be dealt with by window blinds to reduce glare. One of the best places in any office is beside a window, so choose carefully who gets to sit next to one.
Arranging office seating in the UK is easy if you know exactly what to consider. With this guide, your office seating plan can be much more efficient, practical, and beneficial to everyone.