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Design your workplace for better performance

india Updated: Jan 26, 2007 18:45 IST
Highlight Story

You failed to finish the assignment on time. Blame it on the faulty chair you sit on at work. You have clients for a quick meeting and all the conference rooms are full. Blame it on disorganised office space.

Offices or workplaces are not any more about a cluster of furniture thrown around waiting to be occupied by a bunch of employees. Top corporate houses and multi-national corporations are increasingly looking at designing office space giving it the right interiors, colour, appropriate space management and furniture to enhance productivity.

Architects, interior designers and a new bunch of 'workplace consultants' team together to give company offices the right look and profile and create what is termed as an adaptable workplace environment.

Global furniture companies and leading architects are actually formulating research-based tools to give a company workplace an international work culture. With global companies coming into India and setting up offices, there is a greater demand for having workplaces of international standards.

Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Frank Rexach, vice president and general manager of Haworth Asia Pacific, a furniture manufacturing firm, said that most company heads try to create a flexible work culture and designing suitable office which is considered pivotal in pursuing its business goals. "The whole idea is to customise the design and services to suit a particular workplace, as well as replicate what is being done internationally in India as well."

Before getting down to designing offices, a great amount of research goes in with the human resource department of a company to understand its business perspective and thereby use its office space accordingly.

In modern office spaces, the height of the cubicle is shortened to allow collaborative team work, the chair is customised to the user's physical structure and even the acoustics and spacing are done to make it more employee friendly. Offices these days make space for quick meetings, provide for standing work stations where an employee can simply stand and key in data on his laptop and even provide for flexible furniture on wheels to have quick meetings when required.

The architecture is accordingly integrated to suit workplaces and enhances performance levels. Nowadays a new breed of workplace consultants come in to do a pre-occupancy survey with inputs from the architecture team to figure out how an office should be designed to suit the organisation culture and meet the goals.

A corporate office in Shanghai, for example, could be replicated using the same design and research tools for another office in Bangalore with a bit of customisation.

"Once an office is functional, we then do a post-occupany survey after six month to find whether the model is working well or we need to modify the space for better productivity," said Dhananjay Shahane, a workplace consultant.

Email Madhurima Nandy: madhurima .nandy@hindustantimes.com

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