Characteristics of Ideal Layout Part 5

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For ensuring 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:

Characteristics Of Ideal Layout

Characteristics of Ideal Layout

Characteristics Of Ideal 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.

Service Facilities

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 efficient performance of office work as well as physical comfort of the office staff.

Private Offices

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.

Working Environment

Office work is mostly of repetitive nature and leads to monotony for the office staff. Sometimes, mental work may be more fatiguing than manual work. Excessive mental concentration may also be tiring. Therefore, it is necessary that the office staff should be provided with congenial working environment which is conducive to work.

Office environment has a significant effect on the efficiency of office staff. The surroundings in which office personnel work should be healthy and pleasant. Poor office environment result in low output and low morale of employees. Labour turnover and absenteeism also tend to be high. Therefore, executives should arrange satisfactory working conditions in the office.

Essential Factors

The physical factors which constitute a suitable working environment for the office staff are as follows.

Essential Factors

Essential Factors

Essential Factors

Cleanliness and Sanitation

The office must have a neat, clean and attractive look so as to make the employees be at ease and comfort and at the same time enhance the prestige of the organisation. There should be provision of waste paper baskets, dustbins, doormats, spittoons etc., for the purpose.

Lighting System

Lighting is the most important element of working environment. Poor lighting causes eye strain, mental fatigue and irritation to the employees and results in delay and mistakes in office work. There should be sufficient light with proper illumination.

Ventilation and Temperature

The office premises should be properly ventilated and facilitate fresh air circulation. There should be natural ventilation, electric fans, exhaust fans etc., as per need. Air coolers and air conditioners may also be used for temperature control.

Reduction of Noise

Noise results in more errors, low quality of work, delay, slowing down of pace of work and lower output. Noise may be an occasional disturbance, or a regular occurrence. It may be unusually loud at times. It may be from internal or external sources. For control of external noise, the doors or windows can be closed but for internal noise, soundproof walls or partitions are necessary.

Interior Decoration

The art of decoration of the interior of a room or a building involves the use of wallpaper, carpets, curtains, wall-hangings, etc. The office should be internally decorated in such a way as to provide pleasant surroundings to all.

Furniture and Fittings

Office work are routine, monotonous and primarily indoor deskwork. Assistants have to sit daily in the office for long hours. Therefore, suitable furniture should be provided so that employees may work comfortably and speedily. Furniture includes desks, chairs, tables, racks, cabinets, cupboards, safety trays, almirahs etc. The type of furniture used in the office depends on nature of work in the various sections, work space in office etc. However, modern and better-quality furniture improves the general efficiency and adds to the prestige of the office in the eyes of visitors.

Safety Arrangements

Some people think that office is a safe place and hardly any safety precautions are required in office. However, accidents may and do happen in offices like one falling from seven feet high filing shelves, electric shock, fire, etc. Accidents cause loss of time, discomfort, low morale of employee and loss of property. Therefore, proper safety arrangements should be made in office.

Office Security

Office maintains and preserves records and documents. Also, there are valuable equipment and machines in use. Hence, there should be proper security arrangements to prevent theft, burglary, etc. Security measures like regulating entry, staff control, posting security guards, etc., differ from office-to-office.