Open office spaces use large open spaces rather than small, enclosed offices. In many companies, workstations, private offices, and cubicles are not assigned to one particular employee. Instead, they are available for all employees to use as needed. Open offices allow employees to collaborate, move freely around the office, and work on multiple projects at one time.
Open office spaces have several praises as well as complaints that all business owners should consider when consulting with a commercial architect. When discussing different office design options, business owners must consider the type of work performed by their employees as well as the personalities of their staff.
Improved Communication between Employees
When an office space does not have any physical barriers, employees can work together as a team and communicate better with one another. These collaboration efforts improve productivity, create community, increase creativity, and enhance support by making managers more approachable. It should be noted that many open office designs also include a few individual private offices. These areas are excellent for employees who need quiet locations to function optimally.
Open office spaces are typically less expensive to construct. This cost-effective design does not require interior walls to be built for individual offices. The money that is saved on an open office design allows owners to purchase better equipment and increase interior spaces. Open office spaces do not require cubicle walls, personal copiers, printers, and other office equipment. Instead, office equipment is shared among employees.
An open office design maximizes office flexibility. You will be able to rearrange your office equipment and office furniture as needed. Do you have an upcoming project that requires a lot of open space? With an open office design, you can shift furniture toward one side of the office or around the perimeter to increase the work area for your employees.
Many office workers say that the most significant drawback when it comes to an open office concept is the noise levels experienced throughout the day. Many employees thrive in noisy environments; however, others will find the noise levels counterproductive to their productivity. Specific jobs (accounting, writing business proposals, etc.) require a quiet location. Providing quiet office spaces for these activities can help improve productivity.
Higher Stress Levels
Open office design decreases privacy and increases distractions, which can increase the stress levels among employees. Furthermore, if employees are prone to gossiping or drama, the entire atmosphere of the office can be hectic, leading to an increase in employee turnover. Employees working in an open office feel like they are required to seem busy at all times, which can lead to multitasking. Multitasking not only increases stress levels but can lead to an increased risk of mistakes and ineffectiveness.
Increased Rate of Illnesses
If an employee comes to work and is sick with a cold or the flu, germs can easily be spread to their surrounding co-workers. Closed office areas can help decrease the transference of bacteria throughout the entire staff. Therefore, you may want to offer a private office to anyone who is not feeling well. Furthermore, all open office managers should stress the importance of staying home when sick, disinfection protocols of all office equipment and supplies, and frequent handwashing.
Open office spaces are one of the most popular designs in commercial architecture. This design allows employees to work together on projects efficiently; however, this design can increase stress levels in employees.
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