The arrangement of office furniture and equipment within the available floor space is called layout. The preparation of office layout is one of the most important task of office management. It is described as the arrangement of all physical components within the available floor space to provide maximum effectiveness and co-ordination of these components into an efficient and attractive unit.
The arrangement of departments, men and office equipments will be done in such a manner so as to utilize office space effectively and profitably. Office layout is termed as space planning because in office layout importance is given for effective utilization of the the available limited resources. The above definition of office layout states the existence of the following features
- It is a systematic and scientific arrangement of available spaces.
- It fixes up the right amount of space for each employees, machine and equipment.
- It provides best possible office environment.
Factors to be considered
An office layout plan should have the following coverage. The factors to be considered at the time of deciding the plan of layout are :
- Office layout should make fullest utilization of space and each clerk in the office should be provided a minimum working space because it increase the efficiency in work.
- The most important factor a layout plan should consider is ensuring of smooth and unhindered flow of work. Proper flow or work endures less movement of people and paper. The layout plan should be straight line, circle or U-shaped in order to ensure a steady flow of work.
- The office layout plan should maintain inter-relation of departments. Because of this reason buying department is placed adjacent to the store and sales department should be adjacent to go down and dispatch department.
- The floor space should be free from partitions and columns in order to ensure free movement and observation.
- The departments using mechanical application like typewriter, accounting and duplicating machine should be grouped together and are arranged for away from private offices of the executives where policy on important matters are considered.
- The placement of desk and chairs should be such that no employee faces an an objectionable light source. Each employee in the office must be provided with proper light preferably coming from his left hand downwards on to his work.
- The filing equipments, typing machine and tabulating machine will be placed in such a manner that each employee in the office must have a easy reach. Their use will not interfere with the movement of work of others.
- Office layout should ensure proper ventilation to both men and women working in office.
- The furniture and equipments used in office should be of uniform size which ensures greater flexibility and a uniform appearance of the office.
- Office desk should be arranged in a manner that they face the same way. The placement of clerical desk are straight line and and supervisory desks are angular which facilitates better supervision and ads to the appearance of the office.
- There should be provision for gangways between various rows of desks. The width of the gangway depends on the number of desks and equipments.
- The layout plan should have provision for future expansion of activities. The provision should be such that a little chance can be accommodated within the existing structures.