Should I have an Open Plan Layout for my Office?
With approximately 70% of offices now choosing to adopt an open-plan layout, many people assume that this option provides the most effective solution for a successful company. However, there is an increasing debate recently that whilst open plan offices promote a more laid-back, innovative environment, they can also be damaging to attention spans and productivity. We’ve outlined some of the benefits and disadvantages to having an open plan office as opposed to the more conventional layout below.
Open Plan Layout Pros
Open plan workspaces allow colleagues to communicate with each other more freely, which in turn promotes collaboration on ideas and projects on a regular basis. Unlike conventional office layouts, where employees would have to book meetings in order to communicate, an open plan office allows for more fluid interaction and thus promotes a more productive working environment.
Many creative companies opt for an open office floorplan because of the increased motivation for innovative and unique ideas such a fluid environment provides. Some companies have even gone a step further, using their open plan layout to encourage employees to move desks regularly, promoting more cross-colleague communication that will help to create innovative new ideas for the company.
An open plan office has the benefit of reducing costs to the business in terms of construction, utilities and equipment. With less rooms to heat and provide additional lighting for, a smaller company can benefit from the reduced bills an open plan office provides thanks to the improved flow of light and heat. Likewise, the communal spaces an open office makes room for encourages a shared use of resources, cutting down on equipment and facility costs.
Open Plan Layout Cons
However, with the increased energy and interaction an open plan office encourages, the inevitable higher levels of noise can pose a big distraction to employees on a daily basis. A higher level of noise can prevent employees from being able to focus on their own work, leading to a decrease in productivity when working alone and independently needs to be prioritized. It should be noted, however, that sound baffles are a common solution to minimising the noise levels in an open plan office.
Lack of privacy
Likewise, the lack of privacy in an open plan office can be a major disadvantage to the style’s layout. With computer screens easily on view to surrounding colleagues, and a lack of partitioning that can provide privacy for meetings, employees can find it difficult to discuss sensitive matters without being overheard.
Open-plan office layouts provide the ideal environment for colds and illness to spread quickly around the workplace, with shared resources and the lack of dividers meaning any germs are much more likely to be spread than in a traditional office set up. To avoid a constant cycle of employee’s health being affected, all open plan offices should be strict with their hygiene policies (i.e. hand sanitizer placed around the building, regular cleaning services).
We provide complete office refurbishment services here at CPS Interiors, with an experienced team on hand to help you find the most suitable layout and interior design for your company’s needs – whether that’s an open plan office layout, or an alternative option.
Our services are tailored to each customer’s requirements, working closely with you throughout the project to ensure your needs are met. For more information, or to discuss obtaining your free quotation and site survey, contact our friendly team today and we’ll be happy to assist you.