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The main idea of this paper is to answer the question whether office layout is closer to the notion of the retail service layout or to the manufacturing layout. The office layout is closely related to the retail service layout as the main purposes of these notions are similar.
Thus, retail service layout is aimed at minimizing the way a customer should come to the desirable product (Alavudeen & Venkateshwaran 2008). The same is about the office layout as it is more effective when employees can easily reach the equipment they work with and the information they need (Roy 2005).
There are a lot of different works related to the similar problem. Still, none of them provides the answer whether office layout is more associated with retail service layout or with manufacturing layout.
According to Bicheno and Elliot (1997) retail service layout is aimed at maximizing “the profit per square or cubic metre of space” (p. 129). At the same time, almost supporting this idea Heragu (2006) states that manufacturing layout “is different from office layout because different weights are attached to the factors” (p. 23) which influences those facilities.
The new layout of the office may improve the effect from communication (Eisinger 2002). Communication serves as the basis for both office and retail service as it is promoted by the layout (Boutellier, Ullman, Schreiber, & Naef 2008). The incorrect office layout may lead to violation of employees’ privacy (Binyaseen 2010). The same deals with the retail service layout and the personal customer information.
Thus, the information discussed above shows that there are much in common between retail service layout and office layout, that manufacturing layout cannot have similar characteristics. It is possible to say that the information mentioned above is closely related to the topic we are discussing.
If the company wants to reduce the costs in the office, it can change the office layout with the purpose not to dismiss employees. The same is with the retail service layout which may be changed when some changes in the customer sector are necessary (Charlton 2003).
Moreover, working with the customers and trading, the innovative technologies are used. The same is with the office layout. There are so many different companies which deal with this problem, like IKEA 2008 Office planner (IKEA 2010) and Easy Office Planning Software (SmartDraw 2010).
It is important to remember that the proper use of the office layout in the organization can solve many problems. Wieden + Kennedy (2010) is the advertising agency. Working in the advertising business, it is important to collaborate with other members of the team and, at the same time, to be as if in another room.
The decision made by the design company NEXT Architecture (2010) is a really interesting decision. On the one hand, people see each other the walls in the rooms are made from glass, on the other hand, there are walls and no one can hear anything (Momoy 2008).
In conclusion, office layout is closely related to the retail service layout as the purposes are the same, in spite of the fact that they are directed at the different targets. The research conducted in this paper helps understand the importance of layout in different spheres of business, either the employees are involved, or the customers of the company.
Alavudeen and Venkateshwaran. (2008). Computer Integrated Manufacturing. Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.
Bicheno, J. and Elliot, B. (1997). Operations management: an active learning approach. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.
Binyaseen, A. (2010). Office layouts and employee participation. Facilities, 28 (7/8) p. 348.
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Boutellier, R., Ullman, F., Schreiber, J., & Naef, R. (2008). Impact of office layout on communication in a science-driven business. R&D Management, 38 (4), pp. 372-391.
Charlton, B. (2003). Office Interiors Space crunch. Crain’s Detroit Business, 19 (31), p. 11.
Eisinger, J. (2002). The Optimal Office. Association Management, 54 (10), p. 56.
Heragu, S.S. (2006). Facilities Design. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse.
IKEA. (2010). IKEA 2008 Office planner. Web.
Momoy. (2008). Wieden + Kennedy – Modern Advertising Agency Interior from NEXT. Web.
NEXT Architecture. (2010). Web.
Roy, R.N. A. (2005). Modern Approach to Operations Management. New Delhi: New Age International.
SmartDraw. (2010). Easy Office Planning Software. Web.
Wieden + Kennedy. (2010). Web.