For ensuring the effectiveness of office operations, it is necessary to have a proper layout of the office. In practice, it may be difficult to have an ideal layout, but the under mentioned characteristics should be kept in view at the time of planning layout:
Flow of work
Office layout must be planned in such a way so as to enable the flow of work to be smooth and unhindered. Whatever the layout may be, the movement of paper and people should be minimum. Individual work should be considered from its starting point to completion and the personnel, equipment etc., should be placed in that order.
Free movement and observation
The floor space should be planned in such a way that it is free from partitions, columns etc., (as far as possible) to facilitate free movement and observation.
Adequate space for staff and equipment
There should be provision for adequate space for each assistant and his equipment.
At the time of planning office layout, adequate provision of service facilities for employees such as internal communication, lifts, drinking water, canteens, etc. should be made. It is necessary for the efficient performance of office work as well as the physical comfort of the office staff.
Private offices and rooms are generally provided to senior executives and important persons in office for confidential work and mental concentration. However, the number of private offices should be minimum.
Flexibility and expansion
Provision for expansion and adjustments should be made in the layout plan. Additional staff and equipment may need to be accommodated with some adjustments to cope with the expansion.
Separation of noisy departments
Official work needs mental concentration which is possible only in noise free atmosphere. Therefore, the noisy departments should be separated or enclosed with soundproof partitions.