Some employees will like an open office layout, but many will be opposed to the idea. Here’s how to make the transition as painless as possible.

As a business owner, you put a lot of energy into ensuring that your employees are productive. Consequently many offices are transitioning to an open office layout as a means of increasing productivity. Some people like it, but many absolutely do not. Here’s how to make the switch less stressful for everyone.

Why an open office layout is popular

When everybody sits in the same room, they get along on both a personal and a professional level. People hear each other talking, and they feel free to chime in from time to time; even managers seem more approachable when their employees can see them. Office and cubicle walls are social and professional barriers that prevent employees from conversing with each other and working together.

Why you might not like an open office

When you don’t have a private workspace, it could be hard to concentrate. You could get easily distracted by hearing and seeing everything that goes on in a busy room. Every time someone makes eye contact with you, they could take it as an open invitation to start up a conversation. You might also find it awkward to work when people can hear you and see everything you’re doing.

How to make it work for your company

The following three ideas could help make the switch to an open office successful:

  1. Explain the purpose of an open office before you make the transition. If everyone understands that you’re making the move to increase productivity, people won’t be as quick to waste time talking to each other and will be mindful of disturbing their colleagues.
  2. Create an area that has some privacy. You could set up an area that has a few cubicles or small offices where people can work undisturbed.
  3. Allow employees to work from home from time to time. It will take the edge off of those who find the arrangement to be overbearing.

There is a lot of planning that goes into the conversion to an open office. If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to contact us so we can help you design and construct your office to enhance your company’s work environment.