Here are five important advantages of the open floor plan that may make you reconsider your current office configuration.
1. Increased Collaboration
By far, one of the greatest benefits of breaking down literal walls in the office is increased collaboration. When multiple people are working in the same space, they are more likely to share ideas and ask for input. Sure, there are plenty of web-based tools for communication these days. But humans are social beings, and there are still psychological and productivity benefits from in-person communications in the workplace.
2. More Relationship-Building Interactions
On a similar note, this office trend is also effective in facilitating more relationship-building interactions. A cubicle office encourages employees to keep their heads down and continue working in a single-minded way. But in a shared space, employees are more approachable and accessible. It may be helpful to initiate a “do not disturb” policy for when concentration is really needed. But overall, open floor plan offices help level the playing field and bring all employees to common ground.
3. Reduced Construction Costs
Not only does shared space help people work together better, but it also helps the company save money. When you don’t have so many walls to build and rooms to plan, a significant amount of construction costs are saved. It is possible to provide more work spaces for additional employees in an open plan office. This setup is also more economical in terms of paying for electricity, heat, and air conditioning.
4. Improved Employee Health
Numerous studies have proven that it is not physically or mentally healthy for employees to be hunched over computers while sitting down all day. Another benefit of the open floor plan office is employee health, because these arrangements encourage getting up to move around more often.
Open place offices also let in more natural sunlight from windows and improve air quality through increased air flow in a way to make the space more motivating and aesthetically pleasing.
5. Flexibility for the Future
Who knows what the next office trend will be or whether some other configuration will emerge that is actually more beneficial than the open plan office. But with a shared space right now, you can ensure that you are flexible for whatever comes next. It’s easier and more economical to add more features to an open office than modify existing structures to give the next big office trend a try down the road.
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