Open Plan Office Layouts are here to stay
Open Plan layouts in the workplace became popular back in the 1970s, in an attempt to save on costly square footage of office space and improve collaboration amongst employees. According to a survey carried out by International Facility Management Association, 68 per cent of offices are now open plan - decreasing the average amount of office space required per employee by over a third. And with the numerous advantages to open-plan office layouts, it's no surprise that open plan offices are not only on the rise, but are here to stay.
Advantages of having an open-plan office layout
The benefits of an open plan office layout include:
- better relationships between your workforce
- greater collaboration
- greater transparency of information sharing and productivity
- easier for management to resolve conflicts and gauge team dynamics
Adapting to working in an open plan office:
However, shifting from an office with private cubicles into an open-plan office should be carefully planned, and only implemented if you consider the reasons to be effective. Much of it will depend on the individuals within your organization and the type of work your business is involved with.
The reality of working in an open plan office is that privacy is greatly reduced. Increased noise levels may easily distract some employees and many may find it hard adapting to working in open plan. Most companies who are moving to an open plan office still opt for some private offices, particularly for senior management who need the privacy due to the very nature of their work.
It's not uncommon for offices to build in one or two telephone cubicles that provide privacy for those who need to make a private phone call or carry out concentrated work. To help make the transition to an open plan office easier and less disruptive, you should in the first instance hire an Office Space Planner.
They will not only create the best office configuration to suit your employees and your working practices, they will also help you understand the reasons for the layout choices, and the benefits they can bring, so you can communicate these to your staff as part of a relocation change management program.
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