In most modern office spaces, the typical layout for 50+ employees is still the divided “cubicle” style – where employees are divided into mock offices for privacy and focus. An alternative to this physical design, and productivity mindset is a revolutionary office layout of the “open floor plan”, where employees of groups of 10 or more share a single space with all of their desks open to one another. Critics would cite this as a distractive workplace – but proponents know that it fosters stronger communication among different departments and team members. In this article we’ll take a look at a few of the ways these floor plans compare – and what they could mean for your growing company.
Mental Health Value
While opponents of the open floor plan might argue that it fosters a lack of focus, as employees get distracted by all of the conversations around them. On the other hand, studies have shown that frequent, yet short, breaks from work – where employees are able to enjoy laughter and the company of others improves their mental state. This can ultimately lead to a greater sense of focus in one’s work, and a healthier environment for everyone. Simply ask yourself – would you rather be isolated to your work, limited to only interact with others when they are necessitated to enter your cube; or, would you prefer to casually enjoy the company of others as you work productively throughout the day – as you would in your own home with family? For many, the answer to that question is quite clear.
When it comes to productivity in office space, focus and distraction isn’t the only issue at the crux of the floor plan debate. Open floor plans are not only more stimulating mentally, they can actually help communication which in turn improves productivity. Companies like PrintingforLess.com have shown that their adoption of an open floor plan has increased productivity – in that communication can actually be accelerated by people talking freely in an open space. Questions are answered quickly, and people do not have to waste as much time drafting internal memos and waiting to receive an answer. While some of the formality of a traditional office might be lost – the open floor plans brings a breath of fresh air to anyone looking for faster communication.
With an open floor plan, regardless of the employees and their general benefit – there is a strong argument for the overarching aesthetic value of any company with an open floor plan. As a visitor, client or anyone else enters your building they see a large room full of people working together. This will always leave a better taste in their mouth than a wall of cubicle dividers – filled with isolated, sad people who aren’t working together actively. Depending on your unique building and actual layout, this will provide you more or less benefit – but consider some of the ways outsiders will perceive your business when they are able to enjoy your open floor plan. With everything that’ son the table, the choice can be easier than you think. Open floor plans are a revolutionary step forward in office productivity, and layout. Perhaps you should reconsider what your current layout is offering you…