There are two types of individuals in the world: those who enjoy open office layouts and those who despise them.
Since 1906, when architect Frank Lloyd Wright created the Larkin office building in New York City, open-plan workplaces have existed. In addition to air conditioning and built-in office furniture, this workspace was also open and had minimal walls. Nearly seventy-five percent of all offices in the United States are now open-plan. There are workplaces without walls everywhere, from small startups to major enterprises to government agencies.
The move toward open-plan offices was unavoidable in certain ways. Today, when office space may cost up to $595 per square foot, many businesses are choosing for open space to save money, as a room without walls can accommodate more people than multiple tiny rooms.
At the same time, the majority of employees dislike working alongside dozens of coworkers. Moreover, we can comprehend them.
Open-Plan Offices Are Effective
Occasionally, removing walls might increase productivity. Mark Prosser, the co-founder of Fit Small Business, feels that open floor plans discourage employees from devoting half of their day to non-work activities.
Nevertheless, the primary reason for open-plan offices is that they facilitate teamwork and communication.
While managers value open areas, employees appear to have a different perspective. Take a look:
- According to a survey by Oxford Economics, 53 percent of respondents stated that the noise in open-plan offices significantly impacted their productivity and happiness.
- According to another study by Karlstad University in Sweden, employees in open-plan offices are less satisfied with their jobs.
- According to another Creative Group survey, employees attribute low productivity to open office layouts.
Indeed, noise and interruptions are among the most detrimental to work. According to the study, interruptions can cost up to 5 to 6 hours every day, or nearly the whole workday. Think about this: 70% of office workers report being interrupted frequently. So you can imagine the cost of workplace landscaping.
How Can Employees Maintain Productivity in Linked Workplaces?
Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all option for office design if you are searching for the ideal workspace for your business.
While an open structure can foster employee collaboration and communication, certain tasks require more concentration and solitude. Therefore, it is essential for businesses to offer employees private locations where they can work undistracted.
In other words, while selecting a landscape office, ensure that it includes designated areas for individuals who require solitude and quiet. There are additional ways for your staff to remain productive without leaving the shared office:
Utilize Indicators That Speak Louder Than Words
Putting up homemade flags or handwritten notes informing your coworkers that you are busy and unable to speak can help you prevent unwarranted interruptions. Or, if you prefer more sophisticated alternatives, there are devices intended for this specific use. Luxafor, for example, is a flag that changes from red to green to signify your availability: green indicates that you are “available,” while red indicates that you are “unavailable.”
Use Vegetation Strategically
Strategically planted plants can not only avoid sick days, alleviate stress, and produce oxygen, but they can also assist keep people from being sidetracked. Office plants can create natural walls that conceal the view and allow workers to concentrate on their work rather than their surroundings.
Add Accompanying Music
According to studies, office background noise has little effect on productivity. On the contrary, they assist the brain in detaching from its environment and concentrating on the task at hand.
However, the intelligibility of sounds such as phone calls and conversations might be disturbing. When we discover the topic of the conversation, our focus turns from what we are doing to what others are saying.
Play neutral background music to drown out irritating regular office chatter. Music can help employees concentrate on their work rather than the conversations occurring around them.