When contemplating an office design or redesign, it can be a tough call to decide between an open-space floor plan and a layout that affords private spaces and offices. This question of floor plan is important because it affects the productivity of the office each day. As a new office design is an investment, it's important to make a decision that will enhance your business for years to come.
The Open Space Concept
Open-space offices have been trendy in recent years. The biggest benefit of the open concept office is that it fosters "collaboration." (1) For businesses that depend upon a high degree of collaboration, the open office space can be extremely effective. Many business leaders also like the ability to keep tabs on their employees. Of course, the feeling of being "watched" all day long can also be a con for many employees. Close scrutiny of employees at work can create a stressful and anxious environment. Moreover, the open space can also prove disruptive for employees who work better when they are isolated or subjected to less noise.
The private office allows an employee to ward away distractions and get down to work. Private spaces allow employees to take better ownership of their space. Having privacy also allows employees to create their own ideal work space. They might choose to work in utter quietude or to play music that enhances their performance. Private spaces also denote status within the organization. While this can create tension among employees who do not have access to a private work space, it can give some employees something to strive for within the business.
Business must decide on what type of floor plan will work best for them. Some may finally decide on a hybrid plan where there is some space dedicated for private work areas and others designated as open spaces. Many employers prefer to talk to their employees one on one to determine how each prefers to work. Their preferences may help a business decide on a plan that is pleasing to all. Talking to a design firm is also a great way to "help configure an optimal working environment." (2)
1. Interior Concepts, "Open Office vs. Private Office Layout," http://www.interiorconcepts.com/open-office-vs-private-offices-layout/
2. Expectsolutions.com, http://www.expectsolutions.com/