Are outdated seating plans holding office-based firms back?

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Are outdated seating plans holding office-based firms back?

Countless factors affect employee productivity, but one of the most overlooked matters is one that is well within your powers to address.

We're talking about office layouts, as the seating arrangements can be crucial in building up team bonds or leading to people becoming isolated and separate from their colleagues.

The desk layout also has a big influence on how well employees communicate and if information is being spread swiftly and effectively.

More and more businesses are recognising the importance of this issue, as a new study by digital consultancy Red Badger vividly highlights.

Are outdated seating plans holding office-based firms back?


​Interestingly, the findings suggest these firms could be at a disadvantage when it comes to delivering work promptly.

Some 33 per cent of those who work in offices arranged by department agreed that the lack of flexibility over seating holds up projects.

By contrast, just 17 per cent of respondents in offices arranged in project teams said the same.

A growing recognition of the advantages of the latter approach could explain why many digital leaders are looking at switching how they arrange their premises.

Are outdated seating plans holding office-based firms back?

Commenting on the findings, Red Badger chief executive Cain Ullah said: "Departmental silos and arranging offices in this way feels like a hangover from a time when industrialised workers needed to be closely supervised to ensure that they completed tasks efficiently.

"In today’s economy, where skilled workers have more autonomy, these seating plans are outdated and as our research shows, are actually slowing organisations down."

This, he said, puts organisations at "significant risk", as they can only be "as fast as their slowest-moving department". 

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) therefore cannot afford to wait if they have designs on posing genuine competition to larger rivals.

Leasing a possible solution?

One option for businesses that feel restricted by their office layout could be leasing office furniture.

Instead of tying up funds in furniture you have purchased outright and being committed to keeping it in the long term to get a return on your investment, you have the option of replacing furniture periodically without paying over the odds.

With Grenke Leasing, you can sign up for a simple, flexible and bespoke financing solution that meets your needs and circumstances.

As a result, it's a great option for SMEs in particular that are trying to make the most of their limited resources and react flexibly to changing business priorities and working processes.