In this study we attempt to answer the age old question – which office layout is better for productivity? Comprising a series of separate blogs, our mission is to unravel the intricacies of office design – because let’s face it, office workers out there are tired of being Guinea pigs for collaborative work spaces versus private office layouts.
THE OPEN OFFICE CONUNDRUM
With the vast majority of us now working in open concept offices, companies are being forced to come up with novel ways to ensure we stay productive and don’t find ourselves driven delirious from the noise and chaos. Ironic isn’t it? Especially considering the open office concept was designed to encourage greater teamwork and collaboration. In an ideal world uplifting physical barriers would and should promote equality and openness, which would in turn boost worker efficiency and productivity. We do not live an ideal world. Open-plan offices have ever since their conception been subject to immense scrutiny, giving cause for complaint relating to noise, distraction and a lack of privacy. A growing body of evidence suggested that the open office undermines the very things that it was designed to achieve, damaging the attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction of workers. Talk about backfiring….. But there are those out there, who argue that open offices can foster collaboration when done right. Interior designers have seen the modern office change and then change again over the decade, and state that the open office conundrum is merely a matter of problem solving and better planning.
HOW TO LOVE YOUR OPEN PLAN OFFICE
Despite all the backlash, and given that organisations need to contain their office space costs, the open plan office is is ‘here to stay’ and the emergence of agile working environments has become a key factor in solving disruptive offices.