As workspace design trends skew toward open-concept office layouts, more and more companies embrace the added benefits that come along with it. A concept popularized by tech start-ups, it is renowned for its unconventional approaches – from team breakout spaces to rooms designed to balance visual and acoustic privacy. However, companies also rave about the hidden value of an open-concept office layout: their teams thrive in work environments that encourage collaboration and creativity.
Find the Space to Focus
“An emerging evolution and by-product of the cubicle, open-concept office layouts also break down barriers between workers,” says Brendon Devenish, Sales Manager for CDI Spaces. “Simple approaches, such as adding mobile workstations that incorporate power and data outlets within the furniture, can make a significant difference. Workers once tied to a desk can now stand instead of sit – or mingle instead of isolate.”
Set Boundaries and Manage Expectations
But what about studies that say open-concept office layouts create distractions, reduce privacy and autonomy, and undermine employee motivation and satisfaction? Well, research indicates that the actual distraction might be tied back to a problem beyond physical workspace features. It could be more rooted in how workers feel about how their office environment reflects the individual identity and company culture. It might not be right for everyone, but offering defined times and secluded areas for quiet work, or pods for private conversations, is always going to be welcomed by introverts and extroverts alike!
Turn Up The Tunes
Open concept office layouts can also be connected spaces with the proper utilization – plug-in, tune out and keep on keeping on with noise-cancelling headphones. It also serves as a subtle visual cue for other team members. Headphones around the neck mean open communication, and a single bud dangling out of one ear demonstrates casual listening, but headphones pressed firmly around the head or lodged tight into both ears? Please do not disturb – important work in progress.
Open concept office layouts offer flexible work environments previously not possible in traditional office spaces. Creating a positive environment where your team feels comfortable to showcase their company pride? You can put a cost on that. But to create an environment where workers connect to their workspace – and bring out the best in themselves? That’s priceless.