Office partitions have revolutionized the way 21st century businesses approach office design. They foster cooperative effort, create a sense of common purpose, reduce a company’s dependence on artificial light, help the HVAC system run more efficiently and give the office a state-of-the-art appeal that was never possible with drywall or cubicle farms. Another great advantage of movable partitions is that they give office managers the freedom to configure their office any way they choose and to reconfigure it at will. Occasionally however, this design freedom leads to errors that undermine the advantages partitions were intended to deliver.
Office Partitions: Common Layout Mistakes
Movable partition walls can be a boon to a company’s productivity but they can’t work their magic by themselves. Owners and office managers need to carefully consider the use and distribution of partition walls lest they wind up making one of the following common layout mistakes:
- Too many private offices: Movable partitions give you a chance to open up your office space, bring in the light, foster a sense of common purpose and ramp up productivity. If, however, you simply divide the space into a hundred private offices you miss out on the advantages partitions can provide. Being able to communicate directly with a co-worker sitting a few feet away cuts down on the need for emails and reduces decision making time as well.
- Lumping all the glass partitions together: Glass partition walls are a great way to allow natural light to flood the office cutting down on the need for rows of fluorescents and brightening everyone’s mood in the process. Sometimes though, office managers will come up with a layout where all the glass partitions are lumped together in one part of the office and the distribution of natural light is severely curtailed.
- No meeting rooms: Sometimes when configuring the office companies will get the part about creating a balance between private offices and open spaces right, they’ll also do a good job of allowing light to flood the office. What they’ll forget is to create common rooms or spaces where collaboration can take place. As a result workgroups have to pull up chairs around someone’s desk and their meeting causes distractions for everyone else.
- Cubicle farm 2.0: Chances are if you announced that the office was going to be redesigned with the cubicle farm making way for office partitions your staff were psyched. Imagine their dismay then when you purchased a large number of opaque, partial height partitions and just created a fancier version of the old cubicle farm. Not taking advantage of the design possibilities of movable partitions is a major and all too common mistake.
- History repeating itself: In older floor plans executive offices clustered around the perimeter of the layout captured all the light. As a result the interior of the floorplate depended almost entirely on banks of fluorescents. With office partitions you can still give the executives the window seats but fashion their spaces out of glass partitions so that natural light fills the rest of the office. Some companies however recreate the old layout mistake by fashioning the perimeter offices out of opaque partitions. It’s 1973 all over again.
When designing the layout of an office using office partitions the most important thing to remember is to strive for balance. Balance private spaces with public spaces, closed spaces with open spaces and opaque walls with glass walls. And don’t forget to create common areas for brainstorming sessions and meetings.
For more information on the best ways to utilize movable partitions call IMT Modular on 416-743-4513 and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales associates.