Landlords are constantly receiving requests from commercial tenants to pave the way for open office layouts.
More than any factor, office layout, and furnishing determine the productivity of employees. In the past, office environments featured rows of cubicles, but times are changing with the open office layout being the trend.
Open space offices offer visions of aesthetically pleasing spaces with coworkers collaborating over tasks. Small groups also gather over coffee to solve problems while managers foresee everything at go.
Sounds convenient, right? Let’s dive right into it.
What Is an Open Office Layout?
Open office layout involves employees working in a large open space on the same floor. The open space has minimal enclosed offices.
Open space office design is flexible, economical, and suitable for collaborative teams. However, for a successful design, it’s paramount to balance openness with privacy options.
To successfully design an open office layout, here are the major steps one should follow.
Step 1: Assess Employees’ Workspace Needs
The first step to designing a successful open floor plan office is understanding the type of environment employees require to be productive. For example, a creative team that is regularly brainstorming will thrive well in the open.
However, accountants and legal workers demand visual and sound privacy. Assessing your employee’s needs will put you in a better position in coming up with open office layout ideas that will work for everyone.
Step 2: Address Noise Control, Visual and Sound Privacy
Lack of privacy and noise distractions are top complaints in open floor plan offices. To address the concern, make use of polished ceiling-mounted sound traps in your office space.
Step 3: Solve Personal and Visual Security
Securing sensitive work details and personal items is another challenge in open space offices. When designing a layout, give your security needs a priority.
For personal items, lockable drawers and a wall of locker units will do the trick. For sensitive work details, ensure accounting, human resources, and legal staff are placed in private areas.
Step 4: Advocate for Collaboration and Seamless Connectivity
Staff collaboration and interaction are the main reason businesses go for open office layouts. To accomplish this, come up with workgroup zones. Combining file cabinets and tables are a great way to promote collaboration among employees.
Step 5: Incorporate Welcoming Common-Use Spaces
Have privacy rooms and break spaces for employees who need to step away from the common space for downtime.
Landlords should not issue commercial tenant evictions when they receive requests to pave the way for open space offices. The commercial tenants are only after increasing productivity from the benefits of an open-plan office.
Benefits of Open Space Offices
Open office layout design has been preferred for a number of reasons. Here are the major benefits it offers to business owners.
The first benefit of eliminating literal walls in your office is improved collaboration. As employees will be working in the same space, there is a likelihood they will share ideas.
Though there are plenty of web-based tools for communication like HipChat and Slack, in-person communications offer psychological and productivity benefits.
2. Capacity to Increase
For budding companies, having the capacity to accommodate more people is a factor to consider when deciding on office space design. Open office layout provides flexibility to accommodate extra capacity. When the company grows, it’s easy to reconfigure desks to optimize available space.
3. Improved Communication
Open office layout is a great way to break communication barriers. Having people working together is an amazing way of converting your office into a productive communication hub.
The absence of walls makes it easy for your employees to communicate with one another. One-on-one communication is better if one gets instant feedback compared to sending a bunch of emails. Ensure the open office layout is paired with a friendly culture that favors communication among employees.
4. Greater Flexibility With Available Space
Another fantastic benefit of open concept office space is the agility and flexibility it offers to employees. Through agile furniture solutions, it’s possible to rearrange your office design to suit current needs. Groups working together can easily form around one desk in an open office layout.
5. Better Problem Solving
Dividing employees in closed cubicles hinders performance in some way. However, an open office layout allows employees from different departments to air issues allowing everyone to participate. This enables a great flow of creativity and creates room for problem-solving.
6. Builds on Company Culture
Another reason commercial tenants prefer an open office layout is that it works wonders on the company’s culture. When staffs work in isolation, they rarely converse.
Employees from different departments rarely talk to one other. However, when employees are in space, interaction becomes easy, thus creating a sociable organizational culture.
Open offices tend to be cost-effective than private offices. There is much to save if you don’t buy each office equipment. Moreover, building cubicle walls is costly and not a smart business move for budding entrepreneurs.
Employees are at ease when they understand their role in the company; this translates to fulfillment. Open office layout breaks down barriers put up by walls. Everyone intermingles, no matter their rank and position.
How to Adapt Open Space Office Design Following the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Coronavirus pandemic has challenged businesses in one way or the other. Particularly the open-plan office due to the need to keep employees safe.
To keep employees safe, entrepreneurs should amend floor space to allow social distancing. Separating desks using Perspex screens is another alternative to keep employees safe.
Moreover, periodical cleaning of desks and office fumigation is a great way to remain safe amidst the pandemic. A few employees on sick leave is a great blow to any business. Consider adopting these changes to evade the worst from happening.
Increase Productivity by Adopting Open Space Offices
Commercial tenants have their preferences when it comes to office layouts. Some enjoy a lively and energetic environment where collaboration is encouraged, while others prefer private working environments.
Landlords should be more than willing to oblige tenant requests to pave the way for open space offices. Most of them are after enjoying the benefits mentioned above.
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