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Design Considerations for Offices

Worksite Redesign Technical Advisory Project

  • Office spaces need careful planning to comply with all code requirements and provide comfortable, habitable space for staff. In some homes, residents like to visit with staff and are able to do so where space allows. Staff offices often do not allow for proper storage for in-use forms, supplies and records. Sufficient electrical outlets for all office equipment and copy machines must be planned.
  • Group home offices often have inadequate space and at times mix functions which present potentially dangerous and unsanitary conditions. Short and long term storage of records is essential. Files end up overhead because no other place is available. Adequate space must be made for storage of office supplies and records, and work surfaces for recordkeeping and charting.
  • Provide for:
    • Storage for forms, supplies and records
    • Safe and adequate egress
    • Work surfaces for documentation-proper space planning for recordkeeping supports employee productivity and safety
    • Adequate lighting and ventilation
    • Adequate outlets for office equipment, e.g. fax, phone, computer, task lighting, etc.

  • Inadequate space for office equipment
  • Power for equipment is not adequate, circuits are overloaded
  • Position of outlets can help reduce accidents from extension cords across paths
  • Office is a partitioned space in the living/dining area

  • Poor light is provided by a single tube, florescent light
  • No room available for additional record storage

  • Intended storage space became an office
  • Poor lighting, power outlets, heat and ventilation
  • Narrow space
  • File cabinets and shelves further restrict passage\
  • Area in front of the electrical panel must remain clear to comply with building codes

Santa Clara Avenue
  • Offices can be part of the living space
  • Attention must be paid to electrical needs and cord management
  • Good lighting is necessary

  • Offices are often placed in any space available
  • This office is in an enclosed porch off the laundry
  • Limited space prevents rapid emergency exit
  • Additional power supply for this office provided with extension cords 

  • Provision must be made in offices for recordkeeping
  • Storage needs increase over time and will capture space if long term storage of records is not planned