As office space planning trends go, business owners and managers either love or hate the open layout approach, with few opinions falling into the middle.
Many companies have adopted this approach to the workplace environment thanks to research that shows it can improve employee collaboration and potentially increase profitability as well. Recently, however, additional research seems to indicate that this approach to office space planning may increase distractions and decrease employee comfort and satisfaction on the job.
Granted, an open layout may have its detractors – and it certainly isn’t right for every business – but this approach to space planning does offer several significant advantages.
An Open Office Layout Reduces Business Costs
Cutting costs is one of the primary reasons why many businesses choose an open-plan design.
With fewer walls, construction is less expensive, as it requires less time and building materials. Ongoing heating, cooling and electricity costs may also be reduced with an open office layout. Finally, the communal work environment allows businesses to save on equipment costs – employees can share resources such as printers, copiers and office supplies.
An Open-Plan Work Environment Allows for Business Growth
With fully-enclosed work rooms, business growth is limited. If additional employees become necessary, relocation or expansion to multiple floors or buildings could be in the cards. An open office layout, on the other hand, can more easily accommodate an increase in personnel headcount. As new hires join the team, the business furnishings can be adjusted to provide adequate space for everyone to work.
Collaboration is Much Easier with an Open Office Layout
An open-plan work environment facilitates communication and collaboration among employees. Colleagues can work together and turn to each other for assistance and advice without having to knock on doors or schedule formal meetings.
This space planning strategy creates a sense of camaraderie and teamwork, while also enhancing the flow of office information.
Potential Disadvantages of an Open Office Layout
On the downside, open space planning doesn’t offer much in the way of privacy.
Unless private rooms or nooks are incorporated in the office layout, employees won’t have a quiet place to focus and conduct confidential business. In addition, the noise and distractions of an open-plan work environment may affect employee creativity and productivity.
Planning Your Ideal Office Layout
Office space planning isn’t easy. Deciding whether an open-plan work environment, fully-enclosed work rooms or some combination of the two design strategies is a better fit requires careful thought – and experience with the process certainly helps.
Premier Office Designs & Furniture can provide you with expert assistance in both office space planning and in selecting the ideal new, used or refurbished commercial business furnishings to meet your employee and company needs.
With more than ten years of industry expertise, our professional team can guide you toward the ideal design and furniture solutions for your Utah business. And, our office space planning service is free, included with your purchase. To learn more or to schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Premier Office Designs & Furniture today.