When it comes time to fit-out a new office, or indeed re-fit an existing space, your choice of furniture is undoubtedly important. However while the need for high quality, aesthetically-pleasing furniture is fairly widely recognised, all too many business leaders and office managers overlook the importance of the positioning of said furniture, as well as the manner in which this can affect the psychology of the space and those within.

How we are seated in relation to each other and the room itself can have a huge impact on our interactions and performance within that space, so today we will look at both private offices and shared meeting areas individually, as two each tend to necessitate a vastly different approach.

Private Offices & the ‘Power Corner’

When designing rooms intended for private work, the positioning of the desk, entrance, and any windows will be crucial in regards to how comfortable your staff will feel in these spaces, and by extension how they will be utilised.

One often-cited downfall of private offices is the placement of the desk in relation to the door; when staff are forced to work with their backs and ergo their screens facing a doorway or internal windows, the inherent lack of privacy this brings can have a negative effect their performance. Facing away from an external window however can also have negative consequences, and so the ideal would arguably be for the desk to be at a 90° angle to both the windows and door, assuming the two are placed opposite as they typically are.

Another popular and effective approach utilised when one wishes to hold the power in any such space is to sit diagonally opposite from the door, in a position known as the ‘power corner’. This position across from the door commands the respect of the room whilst also providing visibility over those in attendance.

Meeting Rooms & Shared Spaces

The best layout for a meeting room arguably depends on its most-regularly intended purpose. For example, if you regularly use the room for collaborative projects you will oftentimes find most benefit in a centrally-positioned circular table which promotes an egalitarian feel. Ensure the room is well lit in all areas, as failing to do so will undoubtedly have a negative effect on staff performance when using the space.

For formal meetings, interviews, and disciplinary actions however the aforementioned approach may not be ideal. Instead you may fair better being seated opposite to each other as this is believed to enhance the feeling of authority. Again the placement of external windows is important here as you will want to have these behind you so as to better light those you are conversing with.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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