6. Provide for future expansion, reduction, or
moving, as the case may be
Factors for Consideration
While many unique situations may be encountered
in planning office layout ashore or afloat, it is not
practical to outline a standard procedure to follow here.
Some general guidelines are as follows:
Use one large space in preference to an equal area
of small spaces. This permits better lighting,
ventilation, supervision, and communication.
Keep desks, filing cabinets, and other equipment
at uniform size in any one area to improve
Use straight, parallel lines in the layout. Avoid
offsets, jogs, and angular arrangements.
Provide for paperwork to flow in straight lines,
Provide for expanding workloads.
Keep layout flexible, anticipating future
Keep related and similar components close
Place supervisors at the rear of their work groups,
so they can easily observe problem areas.
Have working personnel facing in the same
direction, not each other.
Arrange desks so that ample natural light comes
over the left shoulder (or right shoulder for
Avoid having personnel face a window or wall,
be close to heat sources, or be in line of drafts.
Provide sufficient electrical outlets for
Locate components that normal] y have many
visitors near the entrance to avoid disturbing
Locate tiles and frequently used equipment near
those who use them.
Place filing cabinets back to back.
When possible, provide a lounge area (including
vending machines and bulletin boards) so that
personnel may relax during rest periods away
from their work area without disturbing other
Allocate the prescribed number of square feet per
worker as discussed in the following paragraphs.
When computing the required space for an office,
60 square feet is a desirable standard floor area for each
clerical worker. This figure should be doubled for the
division officer and the division leading CPO. To
illustrate, suppose an office force is to be composed of
eight clerical workers plus the division officer and CPO.
The space requirement for this office would be 720
square feet (8 x 60) +(2 x 120). An office 20-feet wide
and 36-feet long would meet these standards. This
standard is based on using double pedestal desks, stand-
ard aisles, and the normal accumulation of tiles. There
is, of course, no fast rule for the number of square feet
per office worker, so this is only for estimation or com-
parison. The space that can be used is influenced by the
nature of the work, the available total area, the number
and type of office equipment used, the shape and ex-
posure of the space, and obstructions within the space.
Adequate space may not be available aboard ship
to meet these standards. This is overcome partially by
using smaller single pedestal desks and by reducing the
volume of files. However, the basic considerations are
still people, workload, and workflow. The fore, crowded
and awkward working areas should not be tolerated if
any other solution can be found. Some temporary solu-
tions that might be considered are staggering working
hours or establishing a night shift so that some of the
desks can be used by two workers, using vacant storage
space for office work, taking advantage of school
quotas, and borrowing space from other divisions.
Space standards may be broken down in individual
items such as desks, chairs, and files. For example,
when standard double pedestal desks (60 inches by 34
inches) are arranged as single units with aisles adjacent,
or when they are arranged in pairs, end for end, with
aisles adjacent to each desk, the minimum space
standard from back to back of desks is about 72 inches.
This allows a 3-foot space for the chair and for getting
in and out from behind the desk. When three or more
desks are used end for end, with aisles adjacent to outer
desks only, the minimum standard per desk is increased
by 1 foot, providing a chair space of approximately 4
feet. The extra foot is required by the middle person for
entry and exit.
Figure 2-5 illustrates space standards for various
desk arrangements. Generally speaking, the two-desk,