The ubiquitous open layout seems like it is here to stay. Granted an open floor plan has both positive and negative attributes as with any office layout. It would appear at first glance that this type of office is limited in space and that it’s staff / co-workers are essentially on top of each other. In actuality this type of space provides room by cutting down on dividers, partitions, and some office furniture; giving staff a bit more leg / elbow room. Within this particular arrangement there are no defined boundaries that separate offices & rooms; instead workstations are situated together within the unrestricted design.
The open layout improves collaboration among a team members, but may also prove to problematic for some staff depending on a few factors outlined below.
Details about an Open Layout
The open area environment allows for employees to communicate and share ideas. The open layout fosters a teamwork environment allowing co-workers to brainstorm together. Employees sharing ideas and information can enhance creativity and innovation. In addition to the teamwork environment, experience and assistance are more easily without leaving their desk or station. Communication is more informal in the open area making interaction between employees more frequent.
The teamwork environment may increase innovation and creativity. As well as providing flexibility for any personnel changes, the open layout allows changes to occur without posing too much of a problem. The open area layout is beneficial for a business to also reduce construction cost. The open area without walls, doors, and other materials saves the cost of building up an office space. Another cost-effective benefit is on utilities. A communal workspace may reduce electricity and heating/cooling cost with better air circulation. The open work area typically feature shared printers, copiers, and other office equipment saving a company money on resources.
The open layout does have some disadvantages facing the staff. A shared office space without divisions can be noisy and distracting for employees. The noise and distraction may impede their work and productivity. Employees may find a lack of privacy to be an issue. They may worry about being overheard or visible computer screens. Another disadvantages that may be an issue during the flu season, the open workspace can help the spread of germs.
Open layout offers great advantages, but many disadvantages that have adverse effects on a business. Distractions and noise negatively affect the workday production. Another business disadvantage is the legal or ethical issues that may occur with the lack of privacy and confidentiality.
The open layout is becoming the more popular type of office floor plan. With ideal lighting, modern décor, and busy employees bring to mind a more trendy type of office layout. This office type is not ideal for every company or business. When searching for a new office plan, consider the positives and negatives of open layouts in regards to your business practices. If you are looking for more guidance and details on commercial spaces that feature an open layout – contact us and we will can answer your questions and in the end help quickly identify any available spaces that fit your business requirements.