Open-plan office spaces aren’t intrinsically terrible; you’re just using them incorrectly.

The five benefits of shared office space and coworking venues for SMEs |  Talented Ladies Club

Employees have been moving out of individual offices and into open-plan spaces in the workplace for decades. This hasn’t always worked well, with the open-plan approach drawing a lot of flak.

Distraction and loudness, which appear to lead to uncooperative behavior, distrust and unfavorable personal connections, and a loss of privacy and a sense of being universally monitored – which are especially problematic for women – are the main concerns.

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Now that internet connectivity is practically ubiquitous, allowing for far more flexible working, the question arises:

What an ideal office space should look like?

The following are some ideas for designing better open-plan spaces: Establish larger offices with two or three workstations, buy adjustable barriers so employees can create private space as needed, and arrange private offices around a communal area’s center, install cathedral ceilings, skylights, and tall windows in cubicles, or implement a work-from-home policy while renting space for group meetings as needed.

The room was separated into sections for various purposes.

Assess what kind of work is appropriate for various workplace setups. People who work in sales or customer service, for example, spend a lot of time chatting or receiving guests, which makes it impossible for them not to disturb others, therefore they want a distinct setting.

The most difficult component, however, is ensuring that the regulations are constantly obeyed. Open-plan workplaces can only succeed in the long run if everyone who works there follows the guidelines and reminds others. It’s critical that top management leads from the front and isn’t isolated in their office, disconnected from their employees’ experiences. As a result, it’s critical that group leaders not only share office space, but also don’t always receive the “best desk” – the one with the greatest privacy, for example – it’s crucial to demonstrate that the rules are supported by the leadership, both in theory and in practice.

Examine the working environment that such an office fosters: it tends to foster an open environment in which behavior is obvious from the moment an employee walks in the door – from who individuals are talking to and, often, what they are talking about. This might be viewed as good, as it fosters a sense of community. Transparency might be unsettling for some people.

Finally, it’s crucial to remember that creative work is influenced by a variety of things; our research published this year found that team members’ impulsiveness has a significant impact on their productivity. Overall, it’s never been about the open-plan office as a whole, but rather about each individual who works there – and how they make the most of it.

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Tyler Mathews

Tyler Mathews