The Risks And Rewards Of An Open Office

Posted by Annelise Fasnacht on Sep 23, 2019 8:48:08 AM

Are you dissatisfied with your company’s open office? If so, you are not alone. In a 2017 study conducted by Gartner, 25% of employees assigned to open office work spaces reported being less than satisfied with their arrangement. Meanwhile, only 9% of employees with private offices said they weren’t satisfied with their work spaces.

The open office revolution was supposed to break down communication barriers and spark collaboration. That might very well be happening, but we shouldn’t ignore the 25% of employees who would rather trade some of that collaborative spirit for a fair share of peace and quiet.

This doesn’t mean you should scrap your open office entirely and shove everyone back into cramped cubicles. Instead, consider a compromise that might make most of the people happy most of the time.

In a recent Economist article, Brad Zeigler of Dyer Brown Architects suggested a more moderate approach to office design, one that takes privacy into account while still encouraging the collaborative flow of open spaces.

“A workplace where all available work settings are entirely in the open—no walls, dividers or partitions of any kind—will likely have a negative impact on collaboration,” Zeigler said. “But if we use a definition of ‘open office’ that expands on an open plan of workstations to include some amount of enclosed space for meetings, informal huddles or sensitive conversations, such a workplace would likely result in enhanced or improved collaboration among staff.”

What Zeigler was getting at, basically, is that you should give your employees options. Not everyone works the same way. Some people thrive on hustle on bustle. Others need to attain a state of saintly, silent focus to be creative. Most people probably need a balanced diet of both.

Consider setting aside some office space for huddle rooms, and be sure to equip these small, private spaces with the same conferencing and collaboration tools available in the rest of the office. If someone needs to take an important video call, they can use the huddle room. If a team needs to focus on a time-sensitive task and can’t risk being distracted by their colleagues, they can transition into a huddle room and get down to business.

With cloud-based solutions like Prime Call Cloud UC, your employees can shift gears--from the hectic high of the open office to the hushed calm of the huddle room--without interrupting their workflow. And that's what you wanted to achieve with the open office in the first place, right?

Learn more about huddle room solutions and please contact us if you have any questions about pricing and implementation. Use our Advanced Search tool to find anything else you’re looking for. If you’re still on the fence about cloud conferencing and huddle rooms, sign up for a free trial of Prime Call Cloud UC and give it a try.

 

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