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Setting up your office: where to start?

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Whether you’re a team of 2 or 202, the way your workspace is set up will have a big impact on productivity and your overall office environment.

There have been many work environment changes over the past few years. Some offices have moved, some have downsized / expanded or opened completely new offices. Deciding where desks, offices and coffee machines will be placed is vital, but it’s equally important to decide where your office printers will be placed upfront.

We have seen many people make the mistake of leaving the printers / copiers / scanners until the last minute, which then results in cramped conditions or someone losing some desk space, which in turn throws out all of your ‘happy office’ vibes before you’ve even started. Below are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Plan specific multi-function device areas

Whether you need one printer or a whole network of multi-function devices, make sure you create specific spaces for these even before you start allocating specific desk spaces and work areas. Remember that you need specific network points for these devices, so it must be planned in advance.

You don’t want to end up with a printer in the middle of the room where the inevitable sound of printing and people chatting around the printer is going to disturb the entire office. That’s going to wreak havoc with your office mood as well as employee productivity.

  • Keep you ‘printer people’ close

In any office it’s advised to have at least one dedicated person in charge of the office equipment. You might have an entire IT department, or it may be a single office manager.

We suggest positioning the printers / copiers near where these employees sit. It just makes sense as they will be the people who know how to clear errors, spot a paper jam, know how to restock paper, and have the contact details for the printer suppliers in the event that the machine needs expert care.

It’s human nature: if you’re struggling with the printer, you’re going to ask the nearest person for help.

  • Create a printer / copier station

An office printer is never just a printer. You will also need a dustbin (or paper recycling bin), storage for extra paper and preferably a small table where staff can put printed documents that haven’t been collected yet.

If you plan ahead, you can create a very neat office equipment area and avoid the inevitable shouting across open plan spaces asking, ‘where’s the printer paper’ and all the rest.

  • Know your staff

We all know, from experience, that some employees can handle sitting in a busier section of the office while others really need a quiet spot to focus. This could be due to the type of work they do, or their personality, but it is something you need to keep in mind when planning your office setup.

We always suggest getting a multi-function device that is dedicated specifically to your finance department as they handle confidential information. If possible, it’s best to have a printer / copier for each individual department in your business as this keeps everything flowing smoothly.

Keep the above guidelines in mind, and you should be well on your way to setting up a work environment that maximises productivity and reduces ‘office irritations’ as much as possible.

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