The concept of open workspaces was first introduced by offices in Germany in 1950. The US, however, didn’t embrace this concept until the early 2000s. Since then, nearly 75 percent of US organizations have adopted an open workspace environment. Though an open office workspace is a great way of increasing employee collaboration and minimizing costs, there are a few disadvantages as well. If you are planning to incorporate an open workspace concept in your organization, this post will help you understand both the upsides and downsides, along with ways to avoid the pitfalls.
Upside Benefits of Open Floor Office Concept
Open work spaces support collaborative and innovative work methods. They inspire open thinking and collective brainstorming by busting employees out of their isolated cubicles. Here are more benefits of an open work space.
1. Reduced Costs
Installing cubicles is much more expensive than installing desk dividers and office partitions. The cost of installing office partitions can be as low as half of what it takes to set up traditional cubicles. If cost savings is a key driver for your company then an open office workspace layout will help you save some extra bucks.
2. Improved Productivity
Open work spaces boost productivity and creativity as it allows employees to easily collaborate. Face-to-face interactions replace email and texting instilling a feeling of camaraderie among employees. It also allows employees to easily reach out to their colleagues without having to hunt them down.
Useful read - 5 Tips to Make Office Spaces More Employee friendly
Dealing with the Downsides of Open Floor Office Concept
Despite the many upsides of open work spaces, there are few downsides. The good thing is there are solutions to fix these issues.
1. Noise and other Distractions
Employees often complain of their inability to concentrate on work because of the constant movement and conversations in open office spaces. To reduce noise and other distractions, install acoustic partitions for offices and desk dividers that are made of materials with excellent noise absorbing capabilities. Both solutions are easy to install and can be temporary or permanent.
Useful read - 3 Office Elements to Better Manage Acoustics
2. Lack of Privacy
Lack of private spaces in the office for confidential conversations make can employees uneasy. Similarly, privacy is important when employees needs seclusion to be able to concentrate on the work on hand. So how do the two opposing ideas - the need for privacy and need for collaboration work hand in hand? The answer is to create dedicated workstations using privacy desk dividers.
Useful read - 5 Design Elements Intrinsic To Flexible Workspaces
Last Few Words
One of the ways to promote an open workspace culture without having to deal with its downsides is to add acoustic desk dividers that provide sound and visual privacy. The upside, you don’t need to spend a fortune to define personal and collaborative workspaces. If you are interested in learning more about quality desk dividers for your office, look no further than Merge Works. We are a leading manufacturer of quality office furniture that includes desk dividers, modular walls, sit-stand desks, and mobile whiteboards. Give us a call at 210-988-6741 or complete our contact form.