With over 80 percent of Australian offices having moved to an open-plan office fitout, is it time for you to follow the trend? Research indicates that a well designed open-plan office space will undoubtedly increase communication and collaboration between workers. However, there is also evidence that open-plan workspaces increase distractions and noise levels as well as take away from employees’ privacy. So is an open-plan fitout right for your business? When designing a fitout for your office, the most important thing to keep in mind is the advantages and disadvantages each option has for employees.
Advantages of an open-plan fitout
A sense of equality between workers and their managers
Continuous communication between colleagues
An increased ability to solve problems as they arise
The ability to add more workstations as the amount of employees grows
Increased collaboration on communal projects
Up to 5 times cheaper than individual offices
Better exchange of information that lead to ideas
Disadvantages of an open-plan fitout
Higher amounts of noise
Distractions which lead to less productivity
Reduced privacy and confidentiality for employees
Possibility of ‘hot-desking’ - when employees don't have a personal desk in an office and are moved around each day
Depending on the nature of your company, an appropriate balance of privacy and interaction should be aimed for in designing your workplace. Alexi Marmot, an architect and professor at University College London, believes that office layouts should not be a compromise between private and public space, but one which offers both to its employees whenever they need them. One great way maintain this balance is by creating an open-plan fitout with the addition of noise-reducing partition screens between workstations. Such a plan increases privacy and limits distractions for workers while remaining within a public surrounding. The possibility of hot desking is often seen negatively through the eyes of employees, as evident in Business Insider. However, these activity based workplaces allow employees to work with the team members that they need to work with on a certain day, bringing versatility to the office. Ultimately the decision as to whether to go open-plan or not is at the discretion of the employer. However, if the office layout is designed without input from the employees it will affect, it can have real adverse affects for the business. If you are looking to change your office layout, the experts at JasonL can help you find the perfect office fitout to suit your needs.
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