Creating a Great Office Layout? Hint - Avoid the Open Office

Designing the best office layout for your company involves making the most of the existing physical features of the building’s interior while adding elements that make the space more attractive, more practical and more reflective of your company’s culture. Layouts that maximize efficiency while creating more pleasant surroundings can help minimize stress, enhance well-being and inspire employees toward greater productivity.

What Makes an Inspiring Yet Practical Layout?

Many of today’s companies are discovering that adding more playful elements to their office design and décor—such as bright colors, interesting shapes, innovative architecture and fanciful furnishings—can set imaginations free, boosting creativity and encouraging innovation in their employees.

Companies like Google, which added a shiny silver slide between floors to allow employees to zip from floor to floor in a fun, fast, and stress-reducing way—or Box, which added large, thickly padded swings to their Palo Alto office in place of chairs—are changing the way we think about business office layout and design. These whimsical arrangements—along with employee-friendly ideas like Facebook’s video game room and Infosys’s bowling alley—are great ways to create a happier workplace that’s more conducive to employee engagement.

Granted, not all companies can be a Google, Facebook or Infosys. However, most companies can incorporate certain imaginative design elements into their office layouts that will help create the kind of physical atmosphere that can maximize their employees’ ability to carry out their tasks more effectively. These can include adding structures that provide a degree of privacy for those employees who don’t have their own private offices.

Creative Ways to Use Space

With so many of today’s office spaces consisting of one large, open room, to which cubicles are often added, privacy and quiet can sometimes be in short supply. The open office has many pros and cons, but we feel it's disadvantages need to remedied.
And this is where the office telephone booth concept can prove highly practical. Phone booths, such as the Zenbooth—which in many ways function much like mini private offices—are, in fact, specially designed to provide a quiet, private spot that an employee can retreat to temporarily to make important phone calls or work on especially thought-intensive projects undisturbed. These booths can be creatively incorporated into your current space to supplement and enhance any other design elements you may already be using.

If you’re using cubicles in your office space, try setting them up along the edges of the room, preferably with each one next to a window when possible to let in natural light and allow employees to feel less closed off from the outside world. Companies like Microsoft use this approach, creating bright, cheerful individual workspaces for each employee and an open and inviting central area where employees can sit during breaks or perhaps even meet with clients.

But, don’t stop there. Consider how your company might make good use of the office privacy pod concept to create a layout that brings together all the best elements of the open floor plan, while still providing a haven from the noise, bustle and ongoing activity of the other employees who share the workspace. When intensive concentration is paramount or when sensitive or mission-critical communications must be carried out by phone, these private, free-standing compartments can provide instant peace and quiet on an as-needed basis, with employees who need them taking turns using them for their most pressing tasks or projects.

You might think of adding a movable structure such as a Zenbooth as not only one attractive and convenient design element of your office space, but also as one key way of making an investment in your employees’ effectiveness, which will ultimately reap benefits for the company as well. By minimizing distractions, this innovative method of adding instant privacy to your open-plan office has the potential to empower your employees to accomplish more than they have before.

Opt for Simple yet Practical

These maple and aluminum booths with glass doors are designed for comfort, convenience and style, offering a sophisticated motion-sensor operated ventilation system, two electrical outlets and two fast-charging USB ports, with the option of an Ethernet port. A shelf-desk and chair are included to provide seating and an adequate workspace.

Phone booths such as these can be easily assembled in an hour and moved around the office as needed on the slider pads that are included. Their portability is one feature that makes these structures easier to experiment with, allowing you to start with one layout and later alter your office design if your needs change or a more practical configuration occurs to you. In the event of a relocation, the Zenbooth can be just as easily disassembled in half-an-hour and packed for transporting to your new office space where you can reassemble it and start the office layout design process all over again, basing the new plan on the physical and architectural aspects of the current space.

The Final Design Is Up to You

Only you can determine where these booths might fit into your current or planned business space to create the best office layout for your company’s size, industry, day-to-day routines and employee needs. You are the one who understands these aspects of your business best. But, you will likely discover, as many other business owners have, that the versatility of a corporate quiet room  will make the job of determining the best office layout for nearly any company an easier one, giving you both the freedom and the tools you need to create any design configuration your imagination and your physical office space will allow.

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