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Open-Plan Office: Will Your Organization Benefit?

An open-plan layout is typical in contemporary offices. Instead of having barriers, like walls and closed office doors, some companies opt for open spaces. They believe it promotes collaboration between team members and makes management more effective.

Despite its advantages, only one in four people want an open work environment. Meanwhile, 28 percent of workers favor a mostly open workspace with on-demand private space.

Having an open-plan office is attractive. Should you consider applying it to your organization?

Open-Plan Office May Lower Productivity

Contrary to popular belief, a Harvard study shows an open-plan office layout makes your team less collaborative. Researchers found the number of emails and text messages increases among participants when they worked in an open-plan office. Face-to-face interaction decreased by about 70 percent after removing the walls in their workplace.

A report by Forbes, meanwhile, says open-plan offices reduce productivity and decrease employee morale. Apart from the lack of face-to-face interaction, employees experience privacy issues. Employees complain about not having enough private spaces to work in or privacy to make personal phone calls.

The report also states 31 percent of employees in open offices tend to hold back their real thoughts and opinions during calls in the office. They are afraid other team members will hear and judge them.

Office Layout that Increase Productivity

Instead of concentrating on an open plan office, consider variety. Different companies have different demands in terms of work activities. And different employees have a unique way of going about their tasks. So you’ll want a space that meets your business’s distinct requirements.

office design layout

Start with these four factors that help promote productivity and innovation:

  • Focus

The average employee spends 28 percent of their time dealing with unnecessary interruptions. So your office should have a room where your employees can focus on tasks.

  • Collaboration

The lack of collaboration within a team affects their performance to achieve quality results. It’s ideal to have small spaces in your office where teams can have impromptu meetings.

  • Learning

Employees should keep on learning and honing their skills to adapt to the competitive workplace. Your office should have a dedicated area your team can learn new skills.

  • Socializing

Employees who socialize with each other help create a healthy working environment.  Your team should have a space where they can take breaks and chat with colleagues to avoid burnout.

But how should you go about planning your office space? Should you install cubicles in your Salt Lake City branch or completely renovate your Boise office?

Choosing the Right Office Layout

When choosing a layout design, consider the workspace needs of your team. Make sure that you create a work environment that makes your team comfortable.

Make sure to incorporate health and wellness to your design. Give them access to natural light, for example. You can also add amenities that promote a “work-play” atmosphere.

Renovating or building an entirely new workplace is a significant investment for your company. Organizations require different workplace layouts. An open-plan office may or may not work for your team. Careful planning is vital to create an environment that makes your team healthy, productive, and comfortable while they work on their tasks.

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