When you start your own practice, the first thing comes into mind is that why the office should be? Whether we require a small space or should be start with a larger space! Where it should be situated, in the mid of the town or a crowed place or a separate place will work?
Every practitioner has these questions in mind while newly setup of office. The office is the first impression that you made in your client. On view of office they make your first impression in their mind. A neat and clean, well organized office will make a much better impact than a nasty and unorganized office.
Design and layout need ongoing attention to deal with inadequacies which become evident during work, and to deal with changes in the type of work being done or the way in which work is done. Strictly in physical terms, the layout of a Chartered Accounts office is not very different from any other professional’s office. There are a number of factors which need to be considered when assessing workplace design and layout. These include not only the physical layout of your workplace, but also lighting, temperature and ventilation. Workplace layout and design is not something that only needs to be considered when a workplace is built, or when a new process or piece of equipment is introduced.
Ergonomics is a scientific term that means the study of work (Ergo = Work, Nomics = Study of). It simple defines how people interact with their equipment. This can range from the design of a chair to the layout of the cockpit for a modern jet fighter. Are desks, benches and chairs suitable for the people using them and for the tasks they are performing? Poorly designed chairs which cannot be adjusted for height and support the lower back can cause back pain. Desks and which are not ergonomically designed and adjustable to accommodate a range of heights can also cause discomfort and increase the risk of other injuries.
From a CA’s point of view, however it is important that the place where CA plans to meet his/her clients should be secluded and sound proof. Such secluded ambience makes client comfortable faster. Such isolation shall also prevent the CA from frequent distractions.
Also, proper seating should be arranged for each and every person in the office including the office assistants and office boys. This ensures commitments and involvement of everyone to the cause of the organization.
Care must necessarily be taken in choosing the tables and chair. Tables should be of standard 30 ‘’ ht which is a very commonly accepted standard. The chairs should be sturdy to take seating load for full day. More important, the chairs should be so designed to give proper ergonomic support to the body. A very common variety of Back-ache is called ‘’postural pain’’ which refers to pain of lower back caused due to wrong seating posture. Most chairs, even if they look beautiful are not able to provide proper support to the lower back of the executives. Hence this causes ‘’postural pain’’. Young CA’s can avoid such back-ache prematurely, by choosing their chair with proper support for lower back.
CA’s profession makes it mandatory for him to keep records of clients for a long period of time. Secondly, when audit is being conducted at CA’s own premises, the whole record of the client is brought is the CA’s office. Thirdly, every CA keeps a record of relevant publication of the institute or of various case histories.
Owing to factors mentioned above, a CA is loaded with papers, files, Bundles, Bags, Books etc. Sufficient and inefficient planning of space for all such documents would make the office look very ‘’small’’. It could be a good idea to designate space for archives, current folders and create organized library-like system for Books and Journals.
AIR & TEMPERACHRE:
Is the workplace kept at a comfortable temperature? Thermal stress associated with heat, inadequate airflow or cold conditions can increase the risk of health problems occurring. Depending on the city climatic condition and affordability of the CA, a proper choice of equipment can be made. For example, in humid climate like Mumbai water based air coolers can never be used. However, in dry- environments of non-coastal cities, the same coolers could be very useful. In case of air-conditioning, badly designed air-conditioning such as the positioning of vents above workstations can create draughts and cause discomfort. Proper ventilation should be provided to ensure circulation of fresh air, and maintenance of pleasing working temperature.
Is noisy equipment enclosed or located away from where people are working? Noisy equipment not only affects concentration, it can also cause permanent hearing loss. To control noise in an office environment:
Lower the volume setting on a telephone. This is a simple way to reduce existing noise levels. Adopt administrative controls such as encouraging employees to use meeting areas away from work areas for conversations.
Choice of colors can determine the mood of an environment and the level of reflection from a surface. It is recommended that ceilings have high reflectance, (reflecting around 80% of the light) and are usually white or off-white. Walls should have 50-70% reflectance (subdued cool colors) and gloss or semi-gloss finish. Floors should have low (less than 20% reflectance) and therefore should be darker and not glossy. The use of colorful posters or non-reflective paintings can relive monotony and provide visual relief.
By kept in mind such factors you can make a better workplace for you and for whom you is working with you.
Thanks & Regards
CA Prashant Gupta