Most companies around the world are constantly trying new initiatives to boost employee wellbeing and productivity. Some ways catch on and others don’t. There are team-building days, early finishes on certain days, and the ability for dynamic working allowing employees to work from home in recent times.
The office environment goes almost hand in hand with dynamic working, and many businesses are looking to open-plan offices to help boost collaboration at work. Gone are the days of darkened, segregated offices, with businesses opting for vast, open spaces with new, bright and vibrant décor, often with collaboration areas that teams can use as meeting spaces without having to formally book rooms.
The open plan concept
The intention of open plan offices is that by tearing down the physical walls or dividers between colleagues, the metaphorical walls also are torn down, promoting collaborative conversations. Colleagues have greater access to each other and therefore can work more effectively, something that is highly prominent in today’s ever-growing agile environments.
Some studies have shown that an open plan office leads to a decrease in productivity in some businesses, and this is down to an increase in distraction and the use of instant messaging between colleagues. Whilst this could be a deal breaker for businesses looking at re-designing their office spaces, there must be a reason that almost half of UK businesses have adopted an open plan approach.
It’s clear that the open plan office concept has taken off with so many businesses adopting it. Are they ignoring the studies, or are there other factors that need to be considered?
Dynamic Signal’s research into productivity could give some answers. They state that productivity increases if an employee feels happy, engaged and empowered to be in control of their workplace. How can businesses find the middle ground?
Office fit out companies are experts in designing workspaces and fine-tuning them to how businesses would like to work. Companies like Mobius at work can create a virtual concept that can be accessed via virtual reality, giving their customers the full service.
There is a fine art to office designing, and it is potentially the most important thing for businesses when trying to engage their employees. Open plan offices seem like a trend that is here to stay.