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​​Choice of workplace settings and shared collaborative and quiet spaces

Provide a choice of where to work; formal, enclosed meeting rooms and informal, open plan furniture settings.

Minimum standards

Desks

  • Desks shall be height self-adjustable and either rectangular or 120-degree shapes:
    • Rectangular minimum 1600mm wide x 600mm deep
    • 120-degree each wing maximum 1200mm x 600mm deep.
  • Where a modesty screen is fitted, it should not be more than 445mm above the floor and must be level with or higher than the underside of the worktop. 
  • Desks shall meet AS/NZS4442:2018.

Height adjustable swivel chairs

  • Height adjustable at least 420mm–515mm, preferably 370mm–560mm.
  • Seat pan and back rest should have ability to tilt.
  • Back rest shall be height adjustable.
  • Chairs shall meet AS/NZS4438:1997.

Communal and collaborative areas

  • Any staff may use communal and collaborative areas. There shall be no team ownership.
  • A combination of work setting components shall be used to create a variety of seating and work options.

Guidelines

  • Agencies that co-locate should share a common reception area, meeting rooms and communal spaces similar to how teams in a large organisation would utilise the space.
  • Where possible agencies should use a combination of bench type desks, individual 1600mm wide x 600mm deep rectangular and 120-degree desks.
  • Sitting units should be self-adjustable between 620mm and 845mm. Sit to stand units should be self-adjustable between 620mm and 1220mm. Standing units should be self-adjustable between 975mm and 1220mm. Agencies should consider including sit-stand desks as a component of work settings for staff to select from.
  • There should be no intrusions into the leg space whilst seated at a desk. Depth requirements immediately under the desktop (knee space) should be a minimum of 435mm and across the floor (leg space) should be a minimum of 700mm. 
  • Locate enclosed meeting rooms and support facilities (communal areas, kitchens) close to the main reception on public access floors wherever possible for the convenience of staff and to minimise the need for visitors to be cleared through security.
  • In multi-floor tenancies, spread different facilities between the floors to encourage staff movement throughout the whole tenancy. For example, locate re-heat kitchens on every 2nd or 3rd floor while offering kitchenettes on each floor, and have the wellness area (sickbay) on one floor and training facilities on another.
  • Height adjustable swivel chairs are designed for general office use. Agencies should consider using chairs certified by the Australasian Furnishing Research and Development Institute (AFRDI) at Level 5 for heavy duty office use and at Level 6 for severe duty such as control rooms and contact centres.

Choice of work settings

  • Absence of any established team boundaries allows for more flexibility when managing the expansion and contraction of staff numbers.
  • Minimise storage at individual workstations to encourage the use of centrally located team storage units, which will reduce clutter and free up space in the work area.
  • Where appropriate, encourage the use of personal lockers and a clear desk policy to allow for future sharing of workstations.
  • Dedicate particular spaces to be used as project ‘hub’ areas for multiple projects, where temporary project teams can be cycled through as required.
  • Give staff a range of workpoints to choose from; from formal, enclosed meeting rooms to informal, communal activity areas. Ensure that all staff can access individual workpoints that include all the equipment they might need for their task.
  • 1200mm wide desks can be used in ‘quiet, high focus’ areas. Staff seated in these areas should not be interrupted by others.
  • While space optimisation is a key goal, environment is important in developing a good staff morale, and thus improving productivity. Be aware that staff will work more productively when they are able to choose an appropriate type of setting to suit their particular work requirements.
  • Distribute a range of workpoints throughout the space and encourage temporary use as needed. Three types of temporary use could be:
    • visiting colleagues needing a workpoint for a one-off focussed work session
    • contractors needing to complete a short term assignment for a team
    • existing staff needing greater separation from their team for more focussed work or in times of unforeseen equipment failure at their usual work area.
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