Open office space is a definite trend in commercial real estate with many companies choosing to build out with airy floor plans that allow employees to share their working areas. But is the trend worth getting in on? The truth is that open and closed office space both have their benefits. Read on to discover the pros of both, so that you can make the best decision regarding the layout of your office.
Pros of Open Office Space
1. Easier Communication
With an open office space, it's not necessary to pick up the phone to call a coworker or head down the hall to visit their office when you just need to ask a question or have a brief discussion.
2. Increased Collaboration
Keeping employees within close proximity to one another increases the chances that your team will approach one another for assistance and input when working on projects.
3. Improved Lighting
With open space, you can make the most out of natural light in an office. This has practical benefits like reducing eye strain and potentially decreasing energy costs; however, there are also psychological benefits to better light. Studies have found that employees' moods improve when given access to natural illumination, and productivity levels often increase when the amount of sunlight in offices is raised.
4. Boost in Employee Morale
Many people prefer the open, free feel of spacious floor plans. This is especially true of Millennials who consistently express preferences for open office space in survey-based studies. Open office spaces may improve with recruitment and attention efforts and boost employee morale.
Pros of Closed Office Space
1. Fewer Distractions
A closed office shuts out the outside world, providing a distraction-free, quiet area for tackling difficult tasks that require concentration.
2. Less Social Drama
When employees are in close quarters with one another, there are more chances for people's behaviors to become annoying, leading to conflict and drama. Closed offices can minimize these morale-sapping situations.
3. Fewer Missed Work Days
In an open office space, if one person comes down with a cold or the flu, the rest of the team becomes at risk. Closed office spaces cut down on person-to-person contact and are easier to keep sanitary when illness outbreaks do arise. This can lead to fewer missed work days due to sickness.
4. More Privacy
A closed office affords employees privacy when discussing and working with confidential information like employee performance reviews and compensation. In addition, closed offices allow employees to make personal phone calls that are of a sensitive nature, improving work-life balance.
It's important to understand that open and closed office spaces aren't mutually exclusive. Many spatial planners advise using a mix of both types of space within one office. You may wish to provide some employees spots in an open floor plan and others in traditional closed offices or offer an entirely open office layout with closed breakout spaces available for use as needed by individuals and small groups.
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