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Outdoor organizations, including summer camps, conservation corps, and wilderness therapy programs, all need an office. However, it is common for office employees to spend a lot of their time out of the office, checking on the outdoor employees and programs. If you manage an office and many of the employees who work there split their time between the office and outdoors, then you face special challenges when it comes to arranging your office and selecting furniture. Below are a few tips to maximize your office space while keeping your employees happy.
1. Consider Work Stations
Work stations allow multiple employees to utilize the same desk by either plugging in their laptop to the work station or signing in at a stationary computer to access their files. The benefit of work stations is that it allows you to have fewer desks than employees if a certain number of employees are out of the office each day. While you may want designated desks for your full-time office employees, you should consider shared work stations for employees that spend a large portion of their time outdoors. This can save space and cut back on office clutter.
Because some employees like to have personal items at their workstation or perhaps favor a personal mouse or keyboard, you can consider hanging small bins somewhere in the office and designating one bin to each employee. They can carry their bin to their workstation of choice and feel at home working there for the day.
2. Concentrate on Meeting Areas
Outdoor organizations tend to have a lot of meetings in their offices. From discussing issues with outdoor leaders to training new staff, it is likely that you will need a dedicated meeting room at some point. By separating the meeting room from your office area you can continue working while people are holding meetings. It also gives additional privacy for employees to discuss sensitive matters, such as disputes between participants in the program.
Adding a private meeting area may involve reducing your number of offices. However, if you are switching to unassigned work stations, this should not be an issue.
3. Separate the Office from Gear Areas
It is common for many outdoor organizations to have their gear area connected directly to their office. While this can allow the organization to rent less space and help keep gear safely under the watchful eyes of the employees, it can also hinder those who need a quiet place to work when groups of participants are getting ready to go into the field or returning from it. If your main office area is used to store gear, consider at least separating it from the rest of the office visually through the use of window blinds or room dividers.
4. Consider Active Desk Solutions
If your employees spend a lot of their time outdoors, they may feel cramped and restless when they have to spend time in the office. To make them comfortable, consider investing in active workstations. These can involve a stationary bike or treadmill at a standing desk or simply a convertible desk that allows different positions throughout the day. Additionally, you may want to look into active sitting chairs, which can help keep your employees alert and in shape while they are in the office.
5. Include a Lounge for Relaxation
Unlike the average office, employees at outdoor organizations rarely follow a strict 9–5 schedule. They may come in early to help a group prepare to leave or stay late to monitor a group that has run into bad weather. Because of this, it is important to allow an extra area in the office where employees can relax. Adding a few comfortable chairs and a sofa can make your office more appealing and comfortable for your employees.
If you manage an office for an outdoor company, it is important to consider the outdoor lifestyle and blend it together with your office tasks in a way that will make your employees feel comfortable while being productive. Look for office furniture companies that can help you set up workstations and incorporate active sitting chairs and more in your business.Share
24 May 2016