The systematic and scientific arrangement of different departments, equipments and men within the available floor space to make optimum space utilization is called office layout. There are two types of layout called group layout and process layout. Group layout is a type where persons performing similar activities or machines doing similar operations are grouped together.
The examples of group layout are putting all accounting machines in one room and putting all type machines in typing pool. Process layout refers to a type of layout where men and machines are arranged on the basic of sequence of operations. The employee and machines are grouped according to operations. The example of process layout is to place filing next to dispatch section.
Steps in Planning Office Layout
The primary duty of the officer manager is to plan for layout. While planning for layout, he should follow a systematic and methodical approach to layout. The layout plan is not a static plan and as such the office manager has to give a look to layout plan continuously. Because of this nature the office manager will plan for layout keeping in mind the future expansions. The following steps are to be maintained while planning for a layout.
(a) The office manager will obtain a copy of map for space available from the top level management. A blue print of available area in prepared.
(b) After receipt of blue print of area, the supervisor and departmental managers are contacted to assess their respective space requirement. While assessing the area attention will be given to the present and future needs of the department. While making necessary changes of the layout plan the departmental managers are to be contacted.
(c) The floor plan is made by the manager. Planning of floor according to scale on a piece of paper is termed as floor plan. In this plan the exact locations of rooms, doors, windows and stair cases are shown.
(d) After meeting the above steps a tentative plan of layout is made by arranging templates on the floor plan. The use of templates show the actual space to be occupied by the machine and equipments.
(e) The top management will be consulted regarding the plan and the layout of the office. The chief executive will ensure that the layout plan gives reflection to the ultimate objective of the enterprise.
(f) Last but not the least the tentative plan will be circulated amongs the departmental as heads for their comments and suggestions. There should be at a time limit for return of the plan. Some changes can be made on the basic of suggestions received. The plan should carry signature of the department heads stating that they have appraoved the plan. After the approval is ready the layout plan is executed for actions.