Ergonomics of office space design

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    Let’s consider the main options for planning and organizing office space. Interior design begins with a concept: the designer must take into account the architectural features of the building, the specific purpose of the premises and the direction of the client’s company.


    Nowadays, office space design services can be afforded not only by large, but also medium and very small firms. Moreover, the goal to impress customers is not always the main one. It is worth ordering an office design primarily for yourself and your employees. After all, it is the staff who should feel comfortable and proud of their company. It is very difficult when ten employees sit close to each other at cheap tables, or when three people sit in the corners of a thirty-meter room surrounded by solid expensive oak on the floor and walls. The cases, at first glance, look opposite, but the result is the same – the absence of a distinct spatial organization, stimulation to work and despondency when the eyes have no rest.

    Interior design begins with a concept: the designer needs to take into account the architectural features of the building where the office is located, the specific purpose of this or that office and the direction of the customer’s company.

    Consider the main options for planning and organizing office space

    Office layout options

    There are three main options for the layout of offices: open, cabinet (closed) and mixed (combined).

    The open type of office is characterized as follows: the entire space of the room is one room, devoid of an explicit division into separate rooms. The office space is divided into specific functional areas. This design of office space is ideal for a team working as one team or a company in which the work of all departments is interconnected. The interior of a modern open-type office can be a single common space, divided into zones using glass partitions – a group office.

    In a closed office space, the entire space is divided into offices. This office design is more suitable for companies where concentration and isolation are important for work, rather than communication. A closed corridor office, in turn, can be of two types: offices for one or two people and offices for more than three employees. The interior of the office for the work of several people allows you to make a clear organization of the space and install permanent equipment.

    The combined office combines the characteristics of an open and closed office type. The room contains both separate areas for each employee and an open space for collective events, communication and relaxation.


    Main types of offices

    There are several popular approaches to organizing office space: American, Japanese, and European. Let’s pay a little attention to each of them:

    “American Office” – an approach to organizing office space developed in the United States in the middle of the 20th century. The design of the room is the most open space, the division into work zones in which is made using different types of partitions (easy to install, mobile, transformable), cabinet furniture (racks, cabinets). The interior design of the “American office” has some distinctive features: minimalism in relation to the furniture used, the absence of decorations in the room, the active use of company logos and attributes. The interior is often kept in “corporate” colors. The design of the office in the office for the head is almost no different from the design of the rest of the space, however, the office itself is isolated: it can be used as a separate room, or it can be allocated using zoning techniques. This interior design can be seen in banks, large international companies, offices of mobile operators, etc.

    The “European office”, like the American one, is based on the most open space. However, there is one significant difference: the office has a large number of isolated offices or rooms for various purposes: a recreation room, a kitchen for employees, a meeting room, structural divisions of the company. The European approach assumes office design in a modern style (it can be Hi-tech, Minimalism or Futurism), which is distinguished by its functionality. European office in a modern style implies some decorative elements in the interior. High-tech style office features are: engraving on doors, reception desk in front office, ergonomic or multifunctional furniture. In the Hi-tech style, there are no abrupt transitions of saturated shades, metal and glass are used, and clear lines are inherent. As a decor, wall painting in the form of rare parallel lines in combination with elements of corporate identity can be used. A feature of the office in the style of Minimalism is the almost complete lack of decor, but the style allows you to effectively experiment with color solutions in the interior.

    “Japanese office”: the design of the office is based on the principles of the labor hierarchy, but at the same time such an interior is always distinguished by functionality. The size and location of the work space allocated to an employee directly depends on his position. So. leaders, occupy the central area of ​​the office space, and subordinates are around them. Leaders always sit facing subordinates in order to control their work. The Japanese version of organizing office space does not accept the use of partitions in the interior.

    There is also the so-called “Soviet” style of organizing space. It assumes a cabinet system – the entire space of the room is divided into small offices, where 6-8 employees work. The design of a small office assumes a large table for the boss and employees’ tables attached to it in the form of a letter “T”.

    Color in the office interior

    On an unconscious level, color raises a person’s mood and performance, but can also, on the contrary, irritate or relax. In modern offices, the design is created necessarily taking into account the many subtleties and rules for choosing colors for the interior. Here are some of them:

    It is recommended to choose light and neutral as the main color of the office, but it must be “diluted” with bright accents. It is very important not to overload the interior so that instead of increasing the working capacity, the staff does not start apathy or inattention.

    For a small office, it is preferable to use light shades in the interior.

    You should definitely pay attention to the location of the room: if the office windows face the south side, you can use “cold” shades in the interior (blue, azure, amethyst), and vice versa, if the windows face north, the interior can be “insulated” (herbal shades, lilac, cream).

    The design of a modern office means the selection of harmonious color solutions that form the ideal styles of office decoration.

    Office lighting

    As in any other room, office lighting plays an important role: it can both create the necessary mood, emphasize the dignity of the interior, and spoil everything. Undoubtedly, the best place for an employee is a place near a window at a distance of no more than 4 meters, but giving everyone such a place will not work. Therefore, a modern office design should take into account well-thought-out artificial lighting and correctly distribute it.

    First of all, bright light should not be directed directly at the employee: it negatively affects both vision and performance. But at the same time, bright light directed exclusively to the workspace, on the contrary, increases efficiency.

    Secondly, it is better to use bright lighting when working with papers; in case of constant work of an employee at a computer, it is recommended to use devices with soft light.

    Today, in the interiors of offices, central lighting is rarely used: local lighting, selected depending on the functions of a particular zone, is recognized as more rational and convenient.

    It is possible to highlight a separate light area near the desktop using table lamps, pendant lamps and special high-tech office floor lamps, the light from which is directed to the ceiling and to the working area. Also, to increase the psychological comfort of the employee, you can use the diffused light in the room in combination with a table lamp.

    For lighting shelves, cabinets and other office furniture, point or hidden lighting is most often used.]

    Office furniture

    A furniture placement project or furniture arrangement in an office is one of the most interesting but difficult tasks. Office furniture must simultaneously meet many characteristics: it must be comfortable, ergonomic, durable, prevent the occurrence of spinal diseases and match the style of the rest of the equipment.

    Flowers in the office interior – a fresh and bright accent

    Well-groomed flowers and plants that fit organically into the interior of the room will help create a comfortable environment, “revive” the interior and make the office atmosphere conducive to work. In addition, indoor plants in the office have a beneficial effect on the health of the staff.

    Even small offices decorated with fresh flowers create an image of a solid and prosperous company for clients and partners.

    Office security system

    In the best interiors of office premises, a security system should be provided: this is a whole complex of technical and organizational measures that are aimed at detecting and eliminating the consequences of various types of activity threats. Modern security systems in the office may include alarm, perimeter security (in order to prevent theft of technical and material means or their destruction), fire safety system. There is also information security – protection against leakage, distortion, loss of classified information of the company, disruption of technical equipment.

    In conclusion, it should be noted that the most successful office design solution is not only a beautifully designed room in which it is comfortable to work or just be, but also a highly functional room designed to simplify a person’s life.

    Happy is the one who feels at work the same as at home.


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