By definition, the open office floor plan describes the utilization of a large open space for the workplace, instead of smaller, enclosed rooms like individual offices. Originally popularized in the 1950’s, this office space planning movement paved the way for the development of the cubicle, but its isolating design is going the way of the dinosaur; in attempts to blend younger and older generations of employees and their innovative and traditional ideas, some 70% of offices across America have adopted this open office setup, according to the International Facilities Management Association
. Hoping to foster a new formula for workplace synergy, they are experimenting with designs like open and group work areas to improve collaboration and communication. What are the most impressive benefits of an open office layout and how can your business cash in?
1. An Open Office Floor Plan Can Make a Team More Cohesive
This idea is especially true if it’s also adopted by senior staff. Not only does “mingling with the masses” in shared open spaces provide company leaders with a good sense of what’s happening in their businesses, it also serves to make them more approachable by employees with ideas for improvement. Seeing senior staff members regularly can remove the intimidation factor that keeps many junior members from sharing new ideas or expressing concerns. Remembering to create some more private spaces for employees that work better alone or with fewer distractions can make this concept most functional.
2. An Open Office Layout Will Improve Collaboration
Open office floor plans naturally allow for the organic generation of conversation, where ideas and knowledge sharing happen regularly, and new ideas can compliment and reshape traditional concepts for out-of-the-box innovation. Project collaboration is also easier, especially when more than two people are involved—working in a shared space is much less complicated and informal than going from office to office for information exchanges. Finally, excitement about a project’s momentum can be contagious, serving to motivate the entire team through the collective office “vibe.” Establishing guidelines that minimize distractions and interruptions will help employees maintain optimal productivity when working privately.
3. Open, Flexible Workspaces Can Provide Healthier Alternatives to Sedentary Seating
Recent studies have shown that “sitting” is the new smoking, leading to everything from metabolic disorders to an increase in the risk of death for any reason. A University of Sydney study recently concluded
that people that sit for eight to eleven hours daily increase their chances of death by 15% over the course of just 4 years. Offering employees an open office layout with flexible furniture configurations encourages healthy alternatives to sitting at a desk all day, like using standing or “treadmill desks”, to using kneeling chairs or yoga balls for more active muscular engagement. Healthy employees are not only more energetic and productive according to the CDC, they also exhibit more long-term loyalty to the company.
Beaux-Arts Group understands the tremendous impact of well implemented space and its impact on workplace creativity and productivity. Contact us today
to learn how intelligent design, superior products, and innovative thinking can address the dynamic needs of your business.