Open Plan Offices – Yay or Nay?

Open Plan Offices – Yay or Nay?

Choosing the right layout for your commercial office spaces is one of the most important challenges you’ll ever face in business. Rather than merely being a decision based on aesthetic preferences, it should take into account that it influences everything from branding to productivity. When trying to find the perfect solution for your modern company, deciding whether to go open plan will be one of the first issues that need to be addressed.

Open plan offices are an increasingly popular option, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right for your company. A whole host of factors including industry, company size, and geographic location will all influence the final selection. Here’s all you need to know.

The Benefits Of Going Open Plan

Opting for an open plan office can bring a whole host of rewarding features and can open the door to many possibilities. The most telling elements are:

Improved atmospheres

While it’s obvious that the open plan offices allow for increased natural light and therefore a happier atmosphere, the impact on employee moods doesn’t end there. The fact that staff members can talk to each other face-to-face is vital.

The loss of any claustrophobic feelings can have a positive influence too.

The open plan layout additionally reinforces the idea of unity and team spirit, which can only be good news.

Improved collaboration

Computers and cloud technology have certainly aided the possibilities for collaboration in recent times, but the significance of an open plan office should not be overlooked. The sharing of ideas and opinions in an environment that encourages cooperation and active participation will work wonders.

Aside from helping internal communications within individual teams, it removes the barriers for inter-departmental collaboration.

Improved management

As the office manager, overseeing the entire operation is a lot simpler with an open plan office. Furthermore, you’ll find that the space feels bigger, offering a level of flexibility that can allow the size of the team to grow in a cost-efficient manner.

Energy costs are also likely to fall as a result of this choice.

If nothing else, changing things up inside the open plan office is particularly simple. Whether it’s moving desks and facilities or incorporating another idea, adaptability will aid your cause.

The Downsides of Going Open Plan

While open plan offices do boast many benefits, including several that aren’t mentioned above, it’s worth taking the potential downsides into consideration too. They are:

Lack of privacy

Whilst collaboration is great, there are times where employees need privacy. Whether it’s to complete a deal on the phone or crunch some important numbers, the open plan layout can make this a little challenging.

Increased illness

When the office is open plan, germs spread at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, this does mean that sickness bugs can leave your team more depleted than ever.

Potential bullying

It’s easier for bullying to get lost amongst the big team and large environment. In addition to actual bullying, many open-plan offices become dominated by the loudest individuals, meaning the quieter ones can get lost in the crowd.

Overcoming the Open Plan Restrictions

All of the cons relating to the open plan layout can become serious issues if left untreated. Thankfully, there are ways to overcome most of those hurdles.

Choosing the right furniture is essential as this will give you the flexibility to provide different employees and teams the setup that works for them. Meeting tables, bench desks, standing desks, and various other solutions are available.

Temporary screens are a great option for combining the benefits of an open plan space with the pro points of traditional office designs.

It’s also worth noting that a number of additional items including phone booths and office pods can provide privacy and a way to cancel out the noise. While they won’t be used continuously, it’s an addition that can generate new opportunities.

Keeping the office clean and working on positive team atmospheres will have a telling influence on the morale, productivity, and sense of unity. Essentially, with the right logic, unlocking the true potential of the open plan layout becomes easy.

The Verdict

Ultimately, there is no one right or wrong answer as to whether implementing an open plan layout will work for your office. However, the fact that solutions exist for most of the potential problems means that you can make the switch to an open plan office with confidence – especially when a team like ours is on your side.

Take a browse around the website to see all our products or give us a call on 0800 092 1985 to speak to one of our experts.

Posted by Paul Randall
19th February 2019