Open office space is a major trend in commercial interior design, and many companies today are remodeling and revamping their offices to convert to wide open space. Should yours do the same? Read on to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of open office space.
Pros of Open Office Space
1. Easy Collaboration
Open office space allows work teams to easily communicate to solve problems and complete projects. They encourage collaboration and can foster a greater sense of teamwork among workers.
2. Improved Efficiency
When employees need to ask peers questions or seek help with tasks, they don't have to wander far in open office spaces. This helps to improve efficiency.
3. Positive Work Environment
Many people feel enclosed and isolated cooped up in closed offices and prefer the ambiance of open workplaces. This is especially true of millennials, who like to feel more connected to their coworkers and part of a large team.
4. Employee Recruitment and Retention
Because talented young professionals often prefer open work environments, being able to show one to prospects during interviews can give your company an edge over others. The pros of open work spaces can also make those new hires more likely to stay with your company in the future.
5. Better Lighting
Open office spaces are often brighter, particularly when they are in locations with windows. Brighter environments have a positive impact on employee morale and also reduce the risk of eyestrain, a common workplace-related medical condition.
Cons of Open Office Space
In an open office space, employees may find it difficult to concentrate due to all of the background noise. For employees that perform complex tasks like complicated calculations as essential daily job duties, open offices are often less than ideal.
2. Lack of Privacy
Privacy is minimal in open offices. Employees who handle confidential information like human resource associates will find it difficult to carry on conversations at their desks. Even those who do not routinely require privacy as a part of their job tasks may occasionally need closed space to make a phone call about a sensitive topic.
Employees may find it hard to stay on task when surrounded by coworkers that they socialize with outside of the office. This can lead to decreases in productivity, so supervisors need to carefully monitor whether conversations taking place in open work areas are related to the events of the day or weekend or after hours plans.
When a cold or flu breaks out, it can spread quickly through an open office. You can help to combat this by providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant cleaning wipes for employees and encouraging your team to use their sick days when they are feeling under the weather.
As you can see, open office space has some distinct advantages but also comes with disadvantages. That's why the smart solution for most companies is to blend open space with closed space. Allow employees that require privacy and quiet to remain in closed offices and provide a few shared offices that employees located in open areas can retreat to when they need to make a private phone call or concentrate.
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