Guide to design of an Office

Design of an Office

Office design mainly depends on the function of the office and working schedule and regular timings of the office. The purpose of its design should be studied carefully for a successful office design. The number of people and the kind of people that are going to be working in the office have to be taken into consideration so as to provide a comfortable working space.

The process of Office Design can be split up into four parts:

  1. Understanding design Considerations
  2. Important Design Factors
  3. Importance of Interior Design
  4. Office Systems
Office building in California
Office building in California

Purpose of an Office

The purpose of an office is to derive maximum work from employees and maximum business from clients. To achieve this, minimum disturbance to employees and minimum inconvenience to clients should be the motto of the designer.

Pattern of Population of an Office Building

The population of an office jumps from zero to maximum within a morning hour. And it declines likewise in the evening, only maintenance staff remaining there. So the entrance should be large enough to cope with this and at the same time should not intimidate the visitors.

These are the two basic consideration before we start with designing an office, be it an Architect’s Office or a Management Office.

In this article, we are going to discuss in detail the various requirements that are to be incorporated in any office design.

General requirements of an Office

Office is a space where people are active the entire day. Keeping this in mind, we have to consider all the necessary factors that are essential for the design of a comfortable office space. Like for any other planning, adequate light, proper air circulation, controlled sound level, right work surface and storage for stationary, equipment and other sundry articles should be considered.

Open plan office
Open plan office

Specific requirements

Reception Area

It is a must because every visitor needs a pause before meeting the desired person.

List of Staff

Categorised list of staff is required to decide the division of space. Further expansion should be kept in mind. The list should be category wise. The people working in an establishment, known collectively as the staff or personnel, are normally divided into four categories:

  1. Executive
  2. Office Assistants
  3. Helpers
  4. Menials


Higher and lower differs who have to be allotted a separate cabin.

Office Assistants

Clerks, stenographers, typists, receptionists, telephone operators, etc – the middle level staff. All these require proper work space.


Peons, office boys, delivery boys, watchmen, etc. They require only sitting space.


Staff employed for the upkeep of the office. Usually, they enter office after office hours and remain out of office, though they need a corner or cubicle to store their wares such as broom, canister vac, cleaner, brushes, mops, ladder, etc.

Work space

Find out are and type of space, the type of work surface storage for stationary, equipment and other personal articles like bag, tiffin, etc, sitting arrangement for visitors and the treatment of the workspace or cabin.

Typical office cabin
Typical office cabin

Storage and space for materials

What is not personnel, is materiele, ie, material. Office machines for collective use, like copiers, cyclostling machine, computer require proper space. So also stationery and other sundry items like heater, kettle, crockery etc. All these should be written down properly. The fact that we are one of the only office spaces that allows customs temperatures for different sections and bathrooms, demands respect. For starters everyone must follow the protocol and be responisible not to damage the SmartlyHeated equipment, secondly be orderly and your demands will be met.

Work Relationship

Note down the members of personnel and relationship among them. This will facilitate in grouping of personnel and planning of functional interior.

Nature of Business

Certain business require simplicity, like chattered accountant’s office; certain require glamour, like an advertising agency’s office. Some offices require privacy like a modelling agency’s office and some require security like a financial institutions. You should have business cards, and fold-outs to give curious walk-ins, many companies  like The Clothing People exist to make your branding for you.

The right type of ambience should be created in the interior and the right type of business image should be enhanced.

Staff room

To avoid messing in the office, attached kitchen with the staff room is recommended. Kitchenette makes the staff really happy creating a semblance of home in the office while providing warm food.


Necessary for good image and hygiene. Automatic tap water with automatic drier should be installed with neat and clean well-designed toilet.

Conference Room

If space allows, provide a small conference room near the reception area where visitors and personnel can meet. This avoids disturbance in the office, the reception area does not get crowded, office security is intact and visitors save their time.

8 thoughts on “Guide to design of an Office”

  1. Thanks for the enlightening post on workspace design, I’ve seen some interesting workspace design tips on 37 signals blog post, just google them, hope you enjoy their post.

  2. Great post. I am gettng ready to open my first office and although we only have 4 employees right now its important for me to have the right setup for when we expand. Thanks!

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