Effective office space design is essential to ensure optimal productivity for business and as part of the process, one has to decide whether to have an open or closed layout. The modern trend leans towards open office space design, to promote collaboration and constant communication, but some instances call for privacy or a quiet environment. It is thus imperative to consider the functions of the employees, the overall business industry and the need for teamwork when designing office spaces. We look at the advantages and disadvantages below, regarding different office space designs that we consider in our floor plan layouts.
The open layout is best if you want maximum collaboration on projects. It provides ample opportunity for employees to give input on projects, obtain advice and to be inspired. This type of layout is well suited for advertising and marketing companies, where great ideas are conceived during chats with other employees.
The same layout can, however, cause conflict in the work environment if some of the employees don’t get along or where one employee constantly disrupts the workflow. As such, productivity may be lowered because of one or two employees. People that need to concentrate, such as copywriters, may find the open environment to be counter-productive and managers or supervisors will want their privacy in dealing with difficult situations. Noise complaints are a common problem with the open office layout.
The private office concept is excellent for accountants, lawyers, and people needing a quiet work environment and optimal privacy. With no need to constantly answer questions or to be polite and listen when employees share about their private lives, the individual has more time to work. It can thus be a productive system. The employee has more space and as a result thereof, will be more relaxed. It furthermore provides the employee with additional status for having their own office.
The closed layout takes up more space and in terms of structural costs, it will cost the company more. With more floor space taken up, the cost of air conditioning, rent and electricity will also be more. Working in a separate workspace can be lonely and the employee may frequently wander out of the office to interact with employees. In addition, it becomes difficult to collaborate on projects and with the office separation from shared equipment, such as multi-functional printers or copiers, the employee has to walk further to get certain tasks done, which can be time consuming.
One solution to the privacy problem in open plan offices is to add cubicles. However, history has shown that the cubicle system is indeed counter-productive. It reduces the space the employee has and creates a caged feeling.
Open plan layouts are here to stay because of the collaboration possibilities, but to counter the problem of privacy and noise problems, glass separations for private offices have been introduced. The meeting rooms, supervisor and manager offices have glass doors and dividers. This system also works well to separate employees needing quiet or private work environments, from the groups of employees requiring optimal collaboration time. In this instance, the spacious feeling isn’t lost and the employee still feels connected to the rest of the employees.Contact us at Ruslin Interior Architects for professional assistance in office space design selection and implementation to address issues of privacy, productivity and collaboration in your firm.