Office layout and space management include the physical features of office design. The impact of technology and the legal requirement for employers to provide a safe working environment have brought about considerable changes in recent years.
Standards and conditions
As part of planning your career in the business sector, you should learn about acceptable conditions and standards. Find out about good office layout and the benefits of ergonomically designed workstations.
Modern work environments range from “low tech” to “high tech”. Offices may have a low; medium or high level of technologically advanced electronics equipment.
In small businesses, work may be carried out in one or two rooms. Duties and responsibilities are varied and staff must be flexible, versatile and able to use initiative. The office furniture and equipment may be fairly basic.
In a large organization, the work may be spread over one or more floors of a building, or may occupy an entire building. There will probably be a high level of specialization, centralized services and automated equipment.
Business operations may be “centralized” (operating from one base) or “decentralized” (operating from many bases and workstations).
In a centralized office, staff shares resources such as filing systems, printers and fax machines. Records are held in one location and there is uniformity in the filing procedures adopted. This reduces the amount of money spent on equipment and office machines.
Employees can learn work methods from other staff members. Staff control and productivity are generally considered to be tighter than in a decentralized office.
Decentralization is expensive as more equipment is required at each location. Staffs usually have more defined of responsibility. They also have greater flexibility in choosing systems, methods of filing and other work practices.
Job satisfaction may be greater but there tends to be less quality control. Depending on what the organization does, it may be important filing system in a decentralized office to avoid possible confusion.