The open office design has, at various times throughout the post-industrial revolution world made an appearance for one reason or another. Consider the typing pools of the Mad Men era, busy news rooms and the like. The most recent incarnation of the open office design took off in the early 2000s as a response to the multi-cubicle working environment. Indeed innovative businesses such as Google and BuzzFeed have embraced the open office design. The cubicle paradigm received a lot of flack for the sense of isolation and depersonalization it inspired, while the open design plan for offices invites more communication and collaboration. Here are some reasons you may want to consider an open office design for your business.
Humans sometimes enjoy alone time, but we need to have others of our kind around us. Just having. come through the era of the cubicle, a design that allows for more contact and interaction with fellow humans just makes sense. However introverted any one individual might be, humans are, at their core, social creatures.
Collaboration and Creativity
Great ideas often come from collaboration. Having the person you want to talk to with in reaching (or shouting) distance, can make it easier to bounce ideas around or hammer out the details of a given project. It makes negotiating and dividing the tasks of a shared assignment simpler. There is also an energy in an open space that encourages productivity and stimulates creativity. Each individual employee can both contribute to this atmosphere and feed it.
Cubicles are less expensive than walls. Want to know what is less expensive than cubicles? No walls. Not only does a business decrease it’s design budget when they don’t have to provide separate spaces for everyone, but they decrease their overall budget by fitting more people into less space. As a business owner you can decrease your rent by decreasing the size of the space that you need to rent.
Solutions to Open Office Design Flaws
No matter how good something is, nothing is perfect. Every design has it’s flaws. Because the open office design has so many benefits, it is worthwhile to know what the problems are so that solutions can be worked into the design.
Private spaces – Sometimes you just need quiet to get things done or you don’t want the anxiety of worrying about a co-worker looking over your shoulder at a project that you are not ready to share. Solutions to this problem include having a few seperate spaces where people can be alone.
Movable furniture – Moving furniture can allow a particular space to be reconfigured to the needs of who ever is using it at the moment. A seating area can be configured to serve one or two people seeking quiet or for a larger group collaborating on a specific project.
Alternatives to seating – There are serious health problems associated with sitting all day long. The working environments allow for flexibility. In the larger office, there may be desks or tables. In seperate seating areas there may be couches and arm chairs. There may also be taller desks and tables for people who wish to stand when they work. These options work well in conjunction with unassigned seating. People are free to move around and change positions through out the day, thus negating health concens associated with sitting too long.
An open office design can enhance creativity, increase productivity and lower expenses. With so many benefits, it is an option worth considering when planning the design of your office.
Furnishing an Open Office Space
If you are planning to create an open office space environment at your place of business, PVI Office Furniture can help. Our expansive selection of office furniture offers business owners with a variety of options to create an open, collaborative, yet efficient office space.
Contact us to learn more about our selection of office furniture!