The Advantages of an Open Plan Office Layout
With the open plan office layout coming under fire in recent times, we feel that it's important to come to its defence and highlight its many benefits!
Productivity and creativity levels in open plan office spaces may have come into question by some, but our recently-published survival tactics for the open plan office offers advice on how to make these layouts work better for you and your team!
Despite the scepticism towards them, we are very much in support of open plan spaces within an office as many of the issues are rooted in how they are set up and utilised and not just in the fact that they are open plan.
The key to making an open plan office environment work for your business is to understand just how it can help your team, and making sure you're utilising it in a way that will help you to achieve this.
Without further ado, here are some of the fantastic benefits of an open plan office layout.
The Benefits of an Open Plan Office
1. Improved communication and collaboration
Open plan offices break down barriers, literally and figuratively. Having everyone working within an open space can be great for turning your office into a productive hub of communication and collaboration.
The open plan office layout makes it extremely easy for your team to communicate due to the absence of walls and doors.
This encourages you to walk and talk instead of hitting ‘send' on yet another email for something you could instead discuss in person!
It's important, though, that your open layout is paired with a friendly company culture that favours communication within the office, to ensure that your employees feel comfortable communicating with one another.
The increased noise levels from open plan communication might reflect distractions for some of your team.
However, thoughtful acoustic and design solutions can help to minimise this issue and give your team the space they need to concentrate on their own work.
Take a look at the advice we covered in our previous blog post!
2. Greater flexibility with the space
A fantastic benefit of an open plan office is the flexibility it that it brings you.
Workspaces function better when you can adapt the space to suit the needs of your employees working within it. One of the ways in which your space can do this is by utilising flexible furniture solutions that can be rearranged to suit a variety of functions.
Because the majority of an open plan office layout is made up of furniture that can be moved and rearranged, there is plenty of scope for you to move and adapt the space however you wish.
This is particularly beneficial when it comes to different people collaborating on a project, as seating and desks can be arranged accordingly.
Another new trend being taken up by companies globally is flexible modular furniture, which essentially allows you to complete a bespoke furniture arrangement to suit the task at hand.
3. Creativity flows
Just as employees can flow through an open space, so can creativity!
Dividing up your team can actually hinder you getting the best out of your whole workforce. Could someone from a different department know the perfect solution to one of your problems and be able to interject mid-conversation?
Allowing your team to work as a collective can help produce better results for your business, and faster.
Do you have some employees who prefer a quiet space to work? Secluded booths or ‘havens’ can make the perfect retreat when you need to get your head down and focus on the task at hand.
4. Improved Culture
A brilliant advantage of the open plan office layout is that it can work wonders for your company culture.
Working in isolation makes it difficult for your team members to bond and converse, and it also makes it less likely for people from different departments to talk to one another.
An open layout, on the other hand, encourages communication and assists in developing a friendly company culture that helps employees to feel happy and fulfilled at work.
The idea that employees turn up to work and get on with their tasks in silence is a rather dated approach and something that companies are realising to be a negative approach in many cases.
A social company culture is important for a happy team of employees, and a happy, healthy team is a productive one.