criss-crossing. Figure 2-2 shows the ideal
communications space layout with sequential
workflow. Placing related tasks in adjacent spaces
reduces distance and increases efficiency of operations.
This ultimately increases the work accomplished.
Workflow affects the placement of sections within
the division and the location of desks, files, and other
equipment. Changes should only be made to improve
workflow. Deviations from approved methods can
result in loss of time and motion and cause delays in
completion of work assignments.
The physical layout of workspaces should be
There is evidence of improper workflow;
The number of personnel or office procedures
The volume of work increases or decreases;
Figure 2-2.Ideal communications space layout.
l New equipment is ordered or is to be installed;
. There is a change in allotted space.
Before actually moving personnel or equipment, it is a
good idea to draw a scale model of the anticipated
layout. You can then evaluate the idea and judge its
In evaluating an office layout, you should consider
the following factors:
Use of space;
Volume of work versus people; and
A large portion of communications office work
consists of receiving, distributing, and filing
communications, reports, instructions, and records.
Another major portion of the work is the disposition of
correspondence. When handling correspondence, the
supervisor must establish standard procedures. Once
decided, these procedures should be conveyed both
vertically and horizontally. Vertical communications
are routed up and down the chain of command.
Horizontal communications are routed to other
divisions and departments.
Vertical communications can be either formal or
informal. Formal information usually consists of office
procedures, watches, schedules, job instructions, and
written orders. Formal communications are handled to
ensure wide dissemination and accuracy of information,
to avoid distortions, and to provide a permanent record.
Informal information is usually passed orally and
provides guidance and instructions on work
Horizontal communications can be either formal or
informal. Personnel holding parallel positions (two
watch supervisors for instance) can sometimes resolve
problems through informal communications without
involving higher authority. On the other hand, formal
communications must be used when the subject
requires approval through the chain of command.
Formal communications may be in the form of station
directives, administrative procedures, or station watch