Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Breaking Down Barriers: Is an Open Office Space Better For Your Business?

Recently, there has been a huge debate about the open office work space and if there are any benefits to renovating your office to fit this format. For tech and creative companies, the campus-like atmosphere is often necessary for the collaborative efforts that occur. Accounting and finance firms benefit from the privacy that a cubicle provides when dealing with the exchange of certain types of information. Despite the fact that many companies report a noticeable and positive change in their employees; it might be worth considering the pros and cons before you go knocking down that wall between the sales floor and the break room.

Open spaces are designed with the intent of improving communication among employees and allowing for transparency with management. While they are often more cost effective they are also created under the assumption that everyone in the company will work best under these conditions. People who tend to work better with fewer distractions or aren't as outgoing might have difficulty being productive in this kind of environment. In theory, you could just pop in headphones and listen to your favorite music while you work, but this is a temporary fix for the larger issue of accommodating for everyone in the office. Open office plans also completely eliminate privacy in an office, making it difficult to share sensitive material and hold private conversations.There is also the issue of space for personal belongings which can be a serious problem if the space isn't designed with larger groups in mind.

Overall, it is important to think about what kind of environment you are trying to foster when considering the floor plan for your business. Companies that thrive on teamwork based projects need open spaces for everyone to have consistent communication. Other companies aren't necessarily tapping into their employees greatest strengths by creating a work area that is full of potential distractions. Companies have had to take this into consideration and modify their floor plans to include private work space that can be reserved for more private conversations or work that requires a little more focus. It is also important to remember that quality matters just as much as quantity. While there are several benefits to the open office floor plan there are also several serious setbacks. Developing a solid compromise between the two might be the best way to encourage productivity for your employees.

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