Office Desk Layout – How To Get The Most Out Of A Small Office Layout
Physical work space is one of the most important elements of a work environment. It’s so important that in one study, 79% of employees linked their environment to their job satisfaction. But the small office layout is more challenging than a more generous office space. The reduced space makes it even harder to organize the layout in an efficient way, in a way where team members are empowered to do the best job that they can possibly do.
So what can employers do to make sure that their team members have the best possible place to work in?
Which Office Desks Work Best in a Small Space?
- Corner Desk
Flexible, fits in difficult room layouts.
Great for multi-purpose rooms like kitchens or living rooms.
Little screen privacy.
Lost space behind a corner monitor.
Who wants to look at a corner?
- L-Shaped Desk
More desktop than a corner desk.
Everything is closer than if you were sitting at a long desk of the same length.
“Divided” desk space.
Also loses dead space behind a corner monitor.
- U-Shaped Desk
Tons of desktop space.
Great orientation for anyone with two monitors or for two people sharing a desk.
Takes up a big footprint in the room.
A U-shaped desk designed for one room probably won’t work in another.
- Along-the-Wall, Straight Desk
Will fit in many rooms and moves well from home to home.
The entire desk is usable, no dead space.
Can be recycled and put to use in other rooms of the house (i.e. as a dining table).
No clear delineation to split computer/writing spaces.
Who wants the wall as their view?
- Center-of-the-Room Desk
Lots of screen-prying privacy.
Wire management is a pain.
If your back is to a window, you’ll be battling glare.
- Double-Bar Desks
Best of both worlds, since it’s technically two desks (a center desk and a straight wall desk, usually).
Tons of desktop space with two separate surfaces.
Looks awesome and executive-like.
Plenty of storage.
Requires a lot of dedicated floor space.
Office Design and Desk Space
The simple act of strategic desk placement can have the biggest impact on team productivity. Once again, these should be set up depending on what your team’s priorities are. Here are four basic layouts:
- Paired Islands
Desks are scattered in facing pairs like islands within an open-concept room. Rotate the pairs on a monthly basis so that employees build close working relationships with everyone on their team.
- Assembly Line
Desks are lined up side-by-side along the length of the room in rows. For some spaces, this will feel far too cramped, and perhaps more like a factory than a space for collaboration. Have your rows face each other to at least build a debate-style set up for conversation and ideation.
- Blocked Seating
Desks are typically arranged in groups of 4, much like the paired island structure. A great set-up for team-based collaboration, but beware of the siloed groups that can potentially form. Mitigate any isolation by rotating this formation on a quarterly basis (just like HubSpot does) so that different groups can take shape.
- The Bullpen
Desks form an inner-facing circle (or rectangle) so that you can get the most face time with everyone on your team. Think of the bullpen as the campfire or circle of trust for your team. Gather around, throw ideas back and forth, and bask in the creativity that ensues.
Since we know by now that open office spaces are not really conducive to productivity, you might want to find a way to place dividers between desks, in order to improve privacy.