5 Benefits Of The Open Plan Office Layout
August 07, 2019
In an open plan office layout, employees share a common space. This type of office design has many benefits such as promoting collaboration and communication among co-workers, and helping to boost morale. While there are some drawbacks to this type of office design, such as decreased privacy and increased noise levels, the pros often outweigh the cons. As more companies adopt the open plan office space concept, it's important to understand why this trend is taking off. In this article, we will explore five benefits as well as some downsides to the the open plan office layout. Finally we'll conclude with whether this layout will be right for you and if you should consider adopting it.
Benefits of an Open Plan Office Layout:
1) Promotes collaboration and communication among co-workers
In an open plan office layout, employees share a common space. This open layout encourages collaboration and communication among co-workers. By having a physical space where employees can easily talk to one another, companies can improve productivity and teamwork. In fact, a study by the University of Toronto found that open plan offices resulted in 82% more communication among employees. This makes it much more efficient at achieving certain tasks compared to private or portioned style office layouts. Essentially due to it taking less time to communicate and discuss tasks with the rest of the team.
2) Helps to boost morale
When employees feel like they are part of a team and are able to easily communicate with one another. Happy employees are more productive employees. In fact, a study by the University of Warwick found that happiness leads to a 12% increase in productivity. Open plan offices can help to create a positive work environment and make employees feel more engaged in their work. This is because they get to interact more with each other in the workplace and generally become closer than they would in more closed off layouts. It creates a stronger team dynamic as well as a less stressful environment and this all helps with morale.
3) Encourages creativity and innovation
In an open plan office layout, employees have the opportunity to see and hear what other people are working on. This can encourage creativity and innovation as employees are exposed to new ideas. In fact, a study by the University of Pennsylvania found that open plan offices resulted in 70% more idea sharing and creativity. It also enables you to receive feedback form others on what you might be thinking and can help refine ideas and decisions quicker than usual. This can really help with your creative process and will ultimately make you have quicker turn around times when it comes to getting tasks done.
4) Is cost-effective
Open plan office layouts can be more cost-effective than traditional office layouts. When companies don't have to pay for individual offices or cubicles, they can save money. In fact, open plan office layouts can save companies up to 30% on their office space costs. This is huge especially for smaller companies who may not have the extra budget to spend on their office. This can essentially help you to save costs while also reaping the benefits of a more open style collaborative workplace. Even for mid sized to larger companies, it is likely you will have more staff and will need to budget more to afford the workplace costs. So saving on that and directing that extra budget elsewhere can really benefit your business.
5) Is flexible
Open plan office layouts are flexible and can be easily adapted to the changing needs of a company. For example, if a company needs to downsize, an open plan office layout can be easily modified to accommodate a smaller number of employees. It also helps when there are multiple teams or groups that need collaborative areas to brainstorm. There is no lack of room and can easily accommodate these multiple groups quite well.
The Downsides of an Open Plan Office Layout
While open plan office layouts have many benefits, they also have some downsides. One of the biggest complaints about open plan offices is that they are too noisy. In fact, a study by the Harvard Business Review found that open plan offices resulted in a 62% increase in noise levels. This can be disruptive and annoying and can lead to decreased productivity.
Another downside to open plan offices is that they can decrease privacy and increase the feeling of being under constant surveillance. This can be stressful for employees and can lead to decreased productivity. In fact, a study by the University of London found that open plan offices resulted in a 15% decrease in employee productivity.
Should you Adopt an Open Plan Office Layout?
The decision of whether to adopt an open plan office layout or not depends on your specific business needs. If you feel that the benefits of an open plan office layout outweigh the downsides, then it may be right for you. However, if you are concerned about the downsides, such as decreased privacy and increased noise levels, you may want to consider a different office layout.
It really comes down to the nature of your business and the industry you are operating within. However with that in mind there is a reason why these open plan layouts are becoming popular and its because they're providing results. It appears to be changing with the times and with more demands for work life balances with employees it makes sense to create a home environment at work. If you are going down the route of open plan make sure you also consider the right office work furniture.
Ultimately we believe at Topaz Furniture that a higher percentage of businesses would benefit from this layout type. Although we do acknowledge that there are certain industries where it would have the opposite effect. This is why it is so important to take into account the pros and cons we have mentioned in this article so you can make an informed decision for your own circumstances.