Space Planning - your office made easy

Category Collaborations

Consider the people that will use the space

One of the first questions you need to ask is what type of office design best suits the working processes and the culture of your company? Should all employees have their own desks or can they share? For instance, sales people may not be in the office much and may just require a touch down station for the couple of hours they are in the office. Would employees need a closed (cellular) office or would an open-plan environment be much better for communication? If you decide on a largely open plan solution, remember to provide other work spaces for tasks that require intense concentration. Every company is different and has different needs. You need to make the decision about what will work best for the different teams within your company.

Consider placing workstations near natural light (windows) as this will aid employee wellbeing.

If you have some employees who require very little noise to carry out focus type work for most of their day, it is wise to place their workstations away from high traffic routes so they remain uninterrupted.

Almost everyone has varied work for some part of the day, whether it be time spent in meetings, focus work versus general task work, visiting suppliers, strategising, making phone calls etc. Different work areas need to be available for different tasks.

Types of workstations


One of the most space efficient and popular layouts for workstations is known as Benching, resembling the long benches of the industrial age. A common size of the individual desks that make up the bench is a 1600mm x 800mm, rectangular desk, grouped together in clusters of 4, 6 or 8. This is the most space efficient layout of desks, but it is important to note that these open plan mass packs (packed to capacity), need to be supported with auxiliary spaces such as collaboration rooms, meeting rooms, and telephone rooms and focus rooms.

Whilst benching clusters generate team collaboration and information sharing, it is important to realise that sometimes employees need other areas to work in to perform different work tasks. The opportunity to choose a different location empowers an employee to fulfil the task at hand to his/her best ability. For instance, if an employee needs to focus on a set of accounts or a special project, moving into a quiet zone such as a focus room or library, allows him or her to concentrate and get the task done undisturbed.

Bench workstations with side storage

There is another way to lay out the storage of bench clusters and that is to put the storage unit next to each desk instead of behind them. This doesn't take up more floor space. For all options of workstations be aware of the space needed for people to sit in.

120° Workstations

These boomerang shaped workstations are grouped in threes and create a layout that is less symmetrical than benching. The clusters can be linked together creating geometric shapes. They take up more space but are great for workers who need 2 or more computer screens or those that have paper intensive work and need to spread their documents on the desk. They are also great for team work.

Spine Workstations

Central spine storage units between desks, creates partial privacy whilst housing files, books, stationery or accessories. This is a good way to bring power to workstations through channels within the spine system.

Bench & Collaboration Workstations

In this space planning solution, soft seating is included within the desk arrangement. An environment like this would be great for teams that need to have internal meetings and chats throughout the day, these meeting pods can also be easily swopped out for more desk space as the team expands.

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Author: Jarman Office Furniture

Submitted 22 Feb 19 / Views 1276