There are many reasons to consider an open office plan in your office rental space: a collaborative atmosphere, savings on having to pay to rent more individual space for employees, the possibility of keeping an eye on all employees’ productivity throughout the day. However, there are a few reasons why this office space design has proven to be less than ideal for office workers. Here are a few facts to consider, as outlined in the article “Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace”:
Studies have shown that many employees are affected by the distractions that accompany an open office plan through lack of visual and sound barriers. While the innovative, open atmosphere might give the illusion of productivity, in many cases the design has proven to take a toll on creative thinking, focusing abilities, and employee job satisfaction.
#2 Lack of Privacy
While employers might feel it is a benefit to be able to keep an eye on their staff, many employees in an open office plan do not thrive under the feeling that they are being constantly watched not only by their boss, but also by their coworkers. One study actually showed that contrary to the idea of better work coming out of communal environments, privacy can actually be a contributing factor to increased job performance.
One of the most touted benefits of the open office plan is improved ease of interaction. However, surveys have suggested that less than 10% of workers in any type of office cited communication with coworkers as a problem in the first place. If the need for inter-office communication was a non-issue to begin with, it calls into question the need for an office design that specifically aims to address communication.
A seasonal side effect of an open office plan is the quick spread of disease among employees—one person comes in while sick and suddenly half the office is out of commission.
If you are moving into a new office rental space, the layout of your office is an important aspect to consider. While an open office plan is a cost-effective and trendy option, the actual benefits of this design are up for debate. Consider doing some research and talking to other employees or business managers about their experience with this type of layout before making a final decision.