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How to create an office seating arrangement employees will love

Your office seating arrangement can take many different forms. Here are six tips that will help you plan your office layout.

Having a designated seat is something we’ve been accustomed to since our elementary classroom days. An office is no different. 

Today’s flexible offices don’t need to give employees permanent, assigned desks but they still want their employees to have some organization and guidance on where to work. An office seating arrangement helps employees collaborate with their teammates, work in a space they enjoy, and navigate easily throughout the workplace. 

Your office seating arrangement can take many different forms. We’ve identified six tips that will help you plan your office layout. Read on to learn how to create an office seating arrangement your employees will love.

1. Create an open floor plan

Employees expect a lot from their physical workplace. They don’t want to work somewhere with gray walled cubicles and rows of desks facing one direction. They want to be delighted by their workplace. Enter: an open office floor plan.

An open floor plan allow for better communication because it’s a lot easier to chat with your manager if you’re not speaking through the walls of a cubicle. It’s also more aesthetically pleasing, warm, and inviting. Before mapping out where your employees will sit, think about how to turn your office real estate into a flexible, open floor plan.

2. Provide a variety of working spaces

Employees can work in many different places: a corner booth in a diner, an airplane, a kitchen counter, or an office desk. That’s why offices should have a variety of productive work areas for employees to use when they need to get a project done, have a meeting, or just enjoy some quiet time. When creating an office seating arrangement, think about what a “seat” can mean. It can be a desk, couch, phone booth, table, and more. What it shouldn’t be is a rigid cubicle that doesn’t allow for collaboration or flexibility.

When designing your office, make sure you design plenty of work spaces like comfy lounge areas, personal work pods, and different set ups to help your team tap into their productivity. 

3. Implement hot desking 

With the rise of hybrid work, fewer employees are coming on-site on any given day and no longer need fixed, permanent desks. Instead of assigning out a desk to each employee, consider hot desking or hoteling, where employees can reserve a desk or workspace for the day they’re coming in. This allows employees to choose the desk where they will work best. This could be based on proximity to teammates or their favorite part of the office. 

The key to remember with hot desking is to make sure all available desks come with amenities like monitors, keyboards, or chargers. With an open floor plan and a hot desking system, you want to make sure employees can be productive and happy with whichever desk they end up choosing. 

4. Designate team neighborhoods

To help further team collaboration, consider creating department specific neighborhoods. For example, two rows of desks can be designated for the sales team. That section can be in a quieter, less trafficked part of the office to allow the sales team to do what they do best: make  calls! Encourage employees to book a desk within their designated neighborhood to allow for better communication and collaboration within teams. This will also improve the general organization and layout of your workspace.

5. Provide a map of the office

An office seating arrangement only works if people can easily find where they and their teammates are sitting. Consider a desk booking software that allows employees to see a full map of the office—including where people are sitting. When they book a desk for the day, they should be able to easily find that desk on the map. They can even choose their desk based on who they see has reserved a desk already.

6. Create spaces for visitors

Opening offices again means welcoming back visitors. When guests come into your office, they might need a desk for their visit. Using a visitor management system will allow you to easily register visitors into your visitor log for the day. You’ll then want the host of the visitor to assign them a desk.

You can set up a designated visitor neighborhood of desks or have your host choose a desk near them so they can collaborate and accomplish the goals of the visit. A good office seating arrangement for visitors can help improve their overall experience of your business.

7. Build around flexibility

Finally, think about flexibility. As your company grows and changes, your office seating plan should change with it. When you hire new employees, consider how quickly and efficiently you can create more workstations. You’ll want to keep a handful of extra desks available to grow. Pay particular mind to how many available desks there are on your busiest office days. This is where your data on desks and registrations will come into play. Keep an eye on your capacity and plan resources accordingly. 

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An office seating arrangement can help your business organize the office in a productive and efficient way. It may seem like a small measure, but a clear and organized seating arrangement can be a huge driver for satisfaction in the workplace. When employees feel welcomed and comfortable in their workplace, it creates a workplace they love and are excited to be a part of. 

Interested in learning other ways you can manage your space and maximize employee satisfaction? Check out eBook, Space management tips for hybrid workplaces.

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Maria Akhter
Author Bio Maria Akhter

Maria is a content marketing manager at Envoy, where she helps workplace leaders build a workplace their people love. Outside of work, her passions include exploring the outdoors, checking out local farmers' markets, and drinking way too much coffee.