Why People Work In Open Offices
Open offices save space and reduce real estate footprint and costs because you can arrange more staff in an open layout. According to research of market, the average square foot per worker has dropped from 225 in 2010 to 176 in 2012 because of the boom in implementation of open offices. Also, the requirement for dedicated private offices is minimized as companies increasingly embrace remote work and team collaboration across the globe.
Big Brother Watches, Easily
With everyone sitting shoulder to shoulder on benches in an open space, transparency is increased and managers and supervisors are able to watch the office easily. The number of supervisors can even be reduced with this arrangement.
Easy Communication & Collaboration
An open office facilitates interaction between employees, and improves team cohesion and communication – great for brainstorming and developing ideas. Everyone is completely accessible, fostering a symbolic sense of organisational mission, making employees feel part of a more laid-back, innovative enterprise. Also, collaboration thrives and a sense of camaraderie is nurtured where team members value the time spent socialising with each other, whom they view as ‘friends’ instead of just ‘colleagues’.
With no fixed partitions and private rooms in place, space utilisation can be maximised and the layout of the office can be rearranged with little or no expense. In addition, it is easy to decorate, clean or maintain an open office.
Why People Don’t Endorse Open Offices "Cubicle"
Lack Of Privacy
Not just visual privacy, but sound privacy as well. It’s hard to keep things private and confidential when everyone can see everyone and hear co-workers’ conversations. Secrecy will take some effort to be maintained and top executives may feel uncomfortable in an open office. They can’t control what others see or hear, and who sees or hears them.
Referring back to the research of office workspace, lack of sound privacy was far and away the most despised issue in the survey, with half of all partition-less workers indicating it as a frustration.
Imagine working in one giant open room with 30 to 100 other people who all have different communication styles mixing with different emotions. To the east, your colleague mutters curses whenever his laptop gives him the blue screen of death, to the west, your Head of Department is having a meeting with partners, and all the time while co-workers on the northern and southern fronts are getting zealous and aggressive with their sales calls.
Create Office Layouts That Work For You
Many organisations are obsessed with Google or Facebook office spaces and would like to mimic their arrangements. They are popular and effective no doubt, but only work because their office layouts align with their company culture and caters to diverse staff needs.
Your team might work very differently and would need a different office plan. Think through how you would like your office culture to turn out like, and how an open office would help achieve business goals. For example, consider certain teams such as sales or customer service, which need to be on the phone throughout the day or leaving the office frequently to meet clients. You might want to place them such that distractions to the rest of the staff are minimized.