Breaking down the walls: Physically and emotionally

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 Foster interaction and collaboration among your staff by implementing an open workspace.

It seems that everyone is shifting from cubicle-heavy spaces to open-office floor plans. Open offices fit in line with an image of a “trendy” office space, categorized by optimal lighting, branded decorations, and collaborative, invigorated employees.

Channels of Communication

Colleagues can simply turn to each other when they need to chat about something without having to schedule a meeting.

This applies to both business-related and non-business-related interactions and can improve the social atmosphere of an office – open plan offices are more sociable than their alternatives. This can improve happiness of employees as they feel more relaxed in their surroundings. This can also help people integrate into the team well which brings us to the next benefit of an open plan office.

Collaboration

To quote Steve Jobs, “Ideas don’t happen in the boardroom, they happen in corridors”. Facilitating spontaneous micro-meetings is a feature of a productive workplace. Collaboration comes more naturally in a workplace where there are no barriers.

Open plan offices foster team spirit and create a social space as opposed to a closed-off individual space. Frequent sharing of ideas is common as people just speak across the room rather than having to organize formal meetings. When teams are working together it is good to have everyone in the same room to get things done as productively as possible.

Happiness

A happy team is a productive team. People feel more at ease when they understand their place in the business and the team. An open workspace can break down barriers which may be put up through use of walls to segment teams. Open plan allows everyone to intermingle, no matter how junior or senior their position.

Budget

Another benefit which may not immediately spring to mind is that of budget. Having an open plan office can save the company money, as costs are reduced on construction, utilities and office equipment. It is more efficient to have everyone in one room in terms of utility bills and office supplies.

For example, fewer walls means reduced cost of materials and time used to create the workspace. Businesses can save on equipment expense as well since communal space enables shared use of resources such as printers and staplers.

Capacity to increase

For growing companies, having the capacity to accommodate more people is a factor when choosing an office space. An open plan space provides the best flexibility to accommodate extra capacity for when the company grows as desks can easily be reconfigured to create an optimum solution.

Forward-thinking space

Open plan offices provide you with a flexible space as a basis for your office design. Often included in a modern office design are break out spaces and different modes of working to suit the workforce. Recent research has demonstrated that traditional offices are not the most productive spaces.