When it comes to office design, more and more companies are turning to open space. However, this solution also has a number of drawbacks.
What does “open space” mean?
In the 1950s, the United States introduced the concept of open space. In the 1980s, Europe was the first continent to adopt this particular way of working. This means that offices are grouped together in the same open space, without walls or other barriers. Many companies use this strategy.
Open space, a profitable business model
The open space layout is popular because of the huge financial benefits it provides. In addition to improved teamwork, the financial component is the most important. When we talk about “open space,” we mean the elimination of walls. It’s easier to fit the same number of people in a smaller space because the offices are grouped together. There will be less floor space, which translates into lower rent. This is a huge advantage, especially in areas where land is expensive…
Enable open dialogue between workers
A team’s ability to communicate effectively suffers when each member is confined to their own office. That’s why an open office design is most likely to improve interaction between employees. All staff members are in constant visual and auditory communication with each other. Therefore, teamwork is enhanced by the fact that they can simply communicate information. This improves responsiveness, which benefits the business. In addition, open spaces can be easily expanded. When activity is high or a project is taking shape, it’s easy to get a tight-knit team together in a small space. Again, the efficiency of open space is being emulated.
The main drawbacks
Not everything is rosy in the open space concept. It is true that this office plan has some disadvantages. Staff are in frequent communication with their manager, who is also visible in the open space. Stress can be exacerbated for some professionals if they feel like they are constantly being watched at work. There is, however, a downside to open landscapes. Cacophony can quickly set in between chats, phone calls, and the noise of computer keyboards, leading to increased fatigue over time.
What are the best practices for creating an open space?
In order to minimize the inconvenience of working in an open space, it is essential to plan the office layout thoughtfully. For example, it’s a good idea to create a break room so employees can take a break from their noisy work environment. Similarly, a stand-alone meeting space is a necessity. It is possible for the company to establish rules for the common space to specify what is expected of everyone. This style of office has its drawbacks, but adding greenery, such as potted plants, can help mitigate some of them.
Who should you call for a successful open space plan?
You’ve been convinced by the openness of the space now. Working in a typical office is a thing of the past. It’s time to work out the details of that layout. In this case, there are two alternative approaches.
The first option is not the easiest, nor necessarily the most cost-effective. It is an opportunity to create your own outdoor space in the future. To do this, you need to understand a number of concepts:
- You’ll need to consider the specific needs of teams in terms of technology and equipment. Therefore, it is essential to sit down with your employees and take stock of the situation. The project will also be better received if they are included.
- Control light sources: even though most teams work in front of a screen, good lighting is still necessary.
- Acoustics and soundproofing should be improved.
- There is nothing worse than spending long hours in a job where no one cares about you. In order to give this open space a distinct character, its personalization is just as crucial as the rest of the design.
An interior architect or flexible office designer can also be an alternative if this project seems unmanageable. With all the key points covered, they will know exactly what to expect. As a result, a comfortable work environment can be provided for their employees.