If an office can incorporate the best of open plan and private office worlds, a company is more likely to improve productivity in the workplace. All it takes is a little more flexibility by allowing staff to move around.
Pros of Open Plan
We know that open plan offices can help to promote collaboration and camaraderie amongst staff members. This is a common occurrence:
A team is discussing a challenge at hand. They’re wracking their collective brain for solutions, when suddenly, a colleague from another department overhears the predicament and offers a solution that worked for them only months ago.
Simple collaboration like that example would have never happened in a segmented environment, leading to a loss of time and money.
Similarly, an open plan environment helps to build bonds between staff. Talking about hobbies on the weekend can spark new friendships and develop a stronger team.
Con of Open Plan
Unfortunately, an open plan office is a double-edged sword. This open dialogue, whilst helping to improve efficiencies and form bonds, may distract other workers from a task at hand, resulting in reduced productivity and everything that comes with it.
This kind of direction can also come from phone calls, both professional and personal conversations. Louder sales calls may distract colleagues, while a personal call may see a staff member leave the building completely.
Allow Flexibility – Individual Workspaces
It would be a shame to lose the benefits of an open plan office, which is why many companies are moving to a hybrid model by providing private workspaces – smaller, one-person booths that block out louder noise and allow a worker to dive into the task at hand with no distractions.
Generally, a worker will remain at their desk in the office. They can be part of the general conversation and allow ideas to flow with colleagues. Then, as they feel the need, they can take their laptop or phone conversation to their own private workspace.
Another benefit of a personal work booth comes when they are fully connected to the video conferencing network. As the workforce starts to lose geographical boundaries, video conferencing is becoming more common. Instead of booking an entire meeting room for one person on a video call with an interstate team, they can simply book a booth. This frees up meeting rooms, which are scarce at the best of times!
Allow Flexibility – Collaborative Spaces
Sterile meeting rooms can stifle creativity (however you define the term). There are times when meetings must be conducted in a meeting room, however, by providing more relaxed environments, like couches and booth seating, you may find staff more stimulated and open to new ideas. This also helps to reduce office noise by limiting discussion to one designated area.
If you’re thinking about incorporating the best of open and private workspaces into your office, we can help with the fit out, simply contact us.