Operations

Designing Office Space that Works For You

Posted on February 1, 2001 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

Office space is very important. Our operation here in Las Vegas started off in a 1,800-square-foot warehouse, where there was about 600 square feet of office space. It was in a typical industrial park and was divided into three rooms, including a reception area, garage space and bathroom. However, when you go looking at potential office locations, don’t worry too much about how the space is divided up. You’ll find that it may be possible to move walls, add partitions to open up the area or construct more private space as needed.

Create a Functional and Efficient Workspace

Essentially, what you want to do is to create a functional workspace within a limited amount of office space. Your dispatchers, accounting people and the owner and manager should have enough area to function. The chauffeurs also should have limited access into the office area. For example, in a two-office setup, one office can be used for accounting personnel, and another for your owner. Out in the open warehouse is where we had our chauffeurs’ lounge, restroom and kept all of our general cleaning materials.

Avoid using built-in desks. Moveable equipment and adjustable shelves will give you more flexibility, and can be moved or rearranged if your workflow requirements change. Noise can be a major distraction, especially if you’re on the phone frequently. Try and place noisy equipment away from areas that need to be quiet for maximum productivity.

Include an Inviting Area for Your Chauffeurs Create a comfortable area for your chauffeurs, separate from the office, so they can hang out between assignments. Encourage chauffeurs to relax in the chauffeurs’ lounge area so they’re available to pick up any last-minute jobs. If you have cable-television service available in your area, then you might want to go with that to keep them around, and make the area more comfortable.

Many times chauffeurs have some downtime between assignments. What you don’t want is a driver monopolizing a dispatcher’s or reservationist’s time thinking that just because they have time to kill they can talk to other employees for awhile. Try to stress to your chauffeurs that when they come in to the office to get their assignments, they need to do that function only. However, continue to make it inviting for them to come into the office, but more particularly the chauffeurs’ lounge area.

Experiment with Furniture Placement Use your furniture to create a traffic pattern in the office. We moved the furniture around once or twice to get the best “feel” for our office. Design and position your office furniture in such a way that customers coming in off the street feel comfortable, and chauffeurs don’t have free reign of the office. Also, when you’re looking to purchase furniture, check out used-office furniture stores. Many times Fortune 500 corporations will turn in furniture that they either overbought, or if they moved into a new facility and already have new furniture. We were able to pick up some furniture at a used-office supply store at half the cost, and the furniture looked almost new. Another important factor when designing your office is comfort. Thanks to the study of ergonomics,

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