Are you troubled with deciphering the exact needs required when planning & designing
your office space?
How do you distinguish what office furniture is needed?
Which would suit your needs best: a desk, work-station, or portable desk unit?
Are you under estimating or over estimating the amount of space you will require?
What is your working style?
Do you have a tendency to "spread out" when you work?
Do you like things out of sight?
Are you more of a visual person?
Are you currently juggling space for your computer & papers all in the same work area?
How much lighting is needed to work more efficiently & effectively?
What type of lighting do you prefer?
How much space will be needed for storing surplus supplies?
How extensive a file system will you need?
Do you invest in lateral or vertical file cabinets?
How do you calculate future growth & space needs when planning your office?
These topics & much more will become incorporated into this section as the 1,2,3, SORT IT
website expands. Check back monthly to gain a better perspective on what planning your office
In the meantime we are providing a checklist to assist you with many of the concerns that need
your attention when you invest the time & money in creating, planning & designing your work
Planning for an office involves many details including these key concerns:
Spatial Design and Layout
Spatial Design and Layout:
How you use your space is critical in determining how to structure the layout of your office.
When setting up your office consider these issues:
Establish primary and secondary work areas for these tasks:
- Paper work
- Computer activities
Plan for accessible file systems:
Allocate space for storage of office supplies:
- Action files
- Administrative files
- Client files
- Project files
- Reference files
- Utilities: pens and pencils; staples; tape; paper clips; rubber bands; etc.
- Marketing materials: letterhead; envelopes; company literature
- Fax supplies
- Printer supplies
- Copier supplies
Plan for these electrical needs:
- Answering Machines
- Back-Up Drives
- Electric Pencil Sharpener
- External CD Roms
- External Hard Drives
- External Modems
- Fax Machines
- Miscellaneous Powered Equipment
- Space Heaters
- Surge Protectors
- Uninterrupted Power Supply (Ups) Systems
- Business lines
- Fax lines
- Dedicated data lines
Lighting is critical. Consider these three key sources:Ambient light (overhead)
Task light (on work stations)
Natural light (sunlight/moonlight)
"The science that seeks to adapt work or working conditions to suit the worker; the study of the
problems of people adjusting to their environment."
Ergonomics is a key component when planning any office. With the rise of work related injuries
involved directly from office layout, this topic is becoming more of a critical factor than ever
before as technological advances expand.
What's Your Ergonomic Quotient?
by Ergonomist Sally Longyear
- Are you eyes really tired at the end of the day? If so, you may need to adjust your
display or lighting and to practice eye fitness training.
- Are your neck and shoulders often stiff and sore? If so, your chair height, display
or keyboard/mouse may need adjusting. Check your reach distance and phone
- Do you ever feel pain or discomfort in your back while working at your computer? If
so, you might need to adjust your backrest or posture.
- Do you feel tingling, numbness or pain in your forearms, wrists, or hands? If so,
your chair height or keyboard/mouse may need adjusting. Also, check your sitting
posture and wrist position.
- Are your legs often stiff and cramped, or do you have swelling and numbness in
your ankles and feet? If so, your chair height might need adjusting or you may
need a footrest.
- Do you feel exhausted at the end of the day? If so, assess your lifestyle habits for
possible contributing factors: good nutrition, exercise, rest and stress reduction.
Good ergonomics at home and micro-breaks at work can improve your health and
comfort on and off the job.
If you answered "yes" to even one of the questions, your work-stations and work habits need
improvement. If you answered "no" to all of the questions on the test, congratulations! You are
probably comfortable while working at your desk.
Following is a list of considerations that can be addressed when establishing a
work-station or area for employees.
1. The eyes need to be approximately 24 - 36 inches away from the screen,
where the neck is bent within a 15 degree angle, up or down. The top of the
screen should be just below the eye level.
2. The back and shoulders need to be relaxed and in a natural position,
with the worker sitting firmly against the back of their chair.
3. Elbows need to rest comfortably on arm rests, yet closely to the sides
of the body, in a 90 degree angle. Wrists need to extend from the arms at
this angle as well. Fingers are slightly curved upward, where the keying
motion is gentle and comfortable.
4. Knees need to also be at a 90 degree angle with the feet securely on the
floor or a footrest.
In order to give you a better idea of all the components involved in addressing ergonomics please
feel free to refer to the Healthy Home Office.
Building and Office Layout...
Source: Office World News - March, '97
- Fortune Magazine research revealed the largest impact on productivity would
result from improvements in office layout, personal computers and thermal
- Both the National Summit on Building Performance and Fortune Magazine research
reports indicate that the majority of strategic plans do not include real estate
and workplace objectives, even though hundreds of billions of dollars could be
saved by enhancing building performance.
- Summit Research indicates that optimizing worker productivity has moved up to
become as important as building location.
- When asked to rank the importance of characteristics, National Summit
attendees said optimizing workforce productivity, organizational needs, and
building location are equally important.
- The Chairman of the National Summit says "the key to unlocking productivity
may lie in office facilities."
Source: Corporate Real Estate Executive - October, '96
- High quality buildings can increase productivity 10-20%
- There are nearly 100 million white collar workers in the U.S. The average
salaries is $43,680. This equals $4.4 billion annually from potential worker
Source: Business Week - December, '96
- Total Business productivity in the U.S. has risen at an annual rate of only
A 1% improvement in productivity...
Effective ventilation, adequate lighting good acoustics and superior or indoor
Computer programmers with larger workspaces and less acoustic and visual
The installation of new high performance lighting ballasts...
Equals 10% of the facility operating cost, or the entire utility bill.
Can increase productivity by 6-16%
Performed 2.6 times better than other programmers in the company.
Has shown a dramatic reduction in The incidence of headaches and eyestrain.
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