Open office design is often lauded as a great medium for communication and collaboration among employees. But with an open office concept, privacy and noise issues can make the workplace stressful.
Here are few ideas on how to minimize the bad and maximize the good, when designing an open office plan.
The Open Office Challenge
Careful planning is crucial for success with an open office. Businesses have found that most employees spend less than 60% of their time in their offices, addressing the challenges that open plan offices face. The open office saves the cost of the extensive real estate necessary to accommodate permanent hard walls and doors for individual offices which are empty spaces 40% of the time. A good open office plan gets the most productivity from a much less expensive space.
Team Collaboration and Individual Performance
70% of all offices today use the open office floor plan. Intelligent planning can avoid problems caused by the perception that open offices can be created simply by removing walls and doors and adding a benching system for workers. The idea is to create a “multi-space” which takes into account the different work modes of collaborating teams versus the focused work and privacy required by individuals.
The design needs to provide spaces for team collaboration, as well as privacy for focused individual effort. Noise from nearby coworkers, undesired socializing, and even visual distractions from activity 200 feet away all need to be addressed to maximize the productivity the open office can bring.
Acoustics, Sightlines, and Alcoves
Sound and visual distractions are eliminated by modern open office furniture design. Alcoves create islands of privacy for teams to collaborate when required. Alcoves are created with high alcove sofas, with high partitions built around the seating. The alcove eliminates the need for walled in conference rooms, and since the alcove sofas are movable furniture, it offers the versatility needed to create a dynamic multi-space where and whenever it is needed.
Acoustical Panels can bring colour and texture to the open space. The panels dampen distracting sound from nearby office activity. They also alleviate the sightline problem by creating intimate spaces which allow employees to shift to different work modes easily.
Open Office Versatility
Because open office plans rely on movable furniture and partitions to allocate work space, rather than hard walls and doors, a company is always able to tweak the layout to suit its current needs.
At Antham Construction, we can help design your office with the best usage of space possible. Contact us to discuss your upcoming office renovation.