How to Make an Office Seating Chart in Excel [Template]
Want to foster more communication and collaboration amongst your employees? An office seating chart can help. When people know where to find each other, in-person conversation happens, which is almost always better than chat or email. Being deliberate about who sits where and then sharing that info with your staff via a seating chart can nurture relationships among coworkers, promote cross-divisional collaboration, and reduce new employee anxiety.
This guide will cover the benefits of seating charts and show you how to create one with Excel. Within minutes, you’ll be on your way to leading a better connected team.
Benefits of an Office Seating Chart
Chances are your employees already have desks or another location to report to each day. But if you plan to sit down and create a seating chart, consider starting from scratch. There may be configurations you haven’t yet considered that are more aligned with your company’s goals.
Build office relationships
Are there certain employees that don’t know each other that well but would benefit from stronger connections? Seating them in close proximity naturally lends itself to daily conversation, which can make employees feel a greater sense of belonging, happiness, and overall workplace satisfaction.
Encourage cross-functional collaboration
Many company goals require cross-functional collaboration, yet seating people in the same department close to each other is commonplace. Instead, consider placing people next to their peers in other departments. For example, seating marketing managers next to sales reps could help both teams collaborate on ways to optimize the company’s lead generation process.
Orient new employees
Learning the ins and outs of a new workplace can be overwhelming, but providing a seating chart to new employees gives them a more visual way to learn the names and locations of their peers. Plus, they’ll have a better idea of who can answer what question and where to find them.
How to Make a Seating Chart in Excel
This tutorial will show you how to build a seating chart in Excel, and provide a company directory template that can help you organize employee data.
1. Create a company directory
Since seating charts help facilitate communication between employees, you may find it useful to create a company directory in the first sheet of your Excel file to collect everyone’s details and contact info in one place. Relevant column titles could include:
- First name
- Last name
- Job title
- Desk location
- Office phone
Once you’ve titled your columns, adjust the width and fill color and fill in your employees’ info.
2. Format the seating chart
Create a new sheet. Click the triangle in the upper left corner of the sheet to select all cells. Next, click the Format button in the Home tab at the top of your screen. Then, click Row Height from that menu.
In the pop-up window, select Default units and input 40 for the row height. Click OK. The cells should now be square.
3. Add desk locations
Build the seating chart to fit your office setup. For example, if there are nine desks or offices along one side of the building, select nine vertical cells. Use the fill bucket to add color if desired, then select Borders in the Home tab and select the All Borders icon.
Continue formatting cells until you’ve mapped out the basic layout of your company’s office.
4. Input desk or office info
If you use office or desk numbers, type them into each cell. Select the cells, then press the Middle Align and Center Justify icons in the Alignment group of the Home tab.
Add your employees into each cell. In this case, Galilea O’Connor’s desk is in Room 101. If necessary, select the cell and click Wrap Text in the Alignment group in the Home tab so the names don’t overflow into other columns.
Continue adding employee names in this way until the seating chart is complete.
5. Print seating chart
When you’re ready to print your seating chart and directory or save it as a PDF, select File, then Print. Select Entire Workbook, then choose your desired page orientation and paper size. Select Fit Sheet on One Page from the Scaling menu. Click Print.
Excel will then create a downloadable PDF file that may look something like this:
6. Share with employees
Print a copy of the directory and seating chart to distribute to each employee, or upload the file to a shared drive.
Seating Charts in Pingboard
While it’s easy to build a seating chart in Excel, getting employees to actually use it is another story. They may forget where the file lives within the company’s shared drive or the hard copy might get buried beneath other papers and sticky notes on their desks. Or, maybe your company changes quickly—you’re hiring rapidly, people are getting promotions, or you just like to keep your seating chart fresh. In that case, the seating chart file will become inaccurate pretty quickly.
Another option to consider is to incorporate the seating chart into org chart and employee directory software, like Pingboard. Pingboard comes equipped with a directory employees can quickly search through to find each other’s contact info. And, you can store employees’ desk locations in their profiles.
And, each employee has their own profile, which looks something like this:
Pingboard profiles are customizable, so you can add a section that would describe an employee’s desk or office location. Here’s an example of what Pingboard looks like with the seating chart info displayed in the org chart:
Download a Seating Chart Template in Excel
If you have access to Excel, you can create a seating chart that promotes more communication and connection between your employees.
Download the template used in this tutorial, then substitute the filler information with your company’s data. Before you know it, you’ll have a visual guide to everyone that works in your office.
Sign up for a free Pingbaord account to give your employees a way to understand who’s who, who does what, and where everyone sits (among many other insights).
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