Managing an Open Office Design
In an era where open office design is the norm, some businesses might find themselves struggling to make employees happy. Psychologists claim that in some cases the concept, while promoting a sense of teamwork, can also be damaging to workers’ attention spans, productivity, creative thinking and satisfaction.
"The open office layout is great for some really collaborative businesses," says Rightsize CEO Mason Awtry. "But if it is impacting productivity or doesn't make sense for your businesses, it is always the better option to do what works for your company culture."
The downfall of open layout for some businesses comes from a lack of privacy, and inability to concentrate due to more distractions. For some, redesigning the office space to fit a broader spectrum of work habits can be the key. But if the design is in place and the lease term has another five years, it’s time to think about how to make the open layout function for everyone.
Here are few quick tips:
Start by managing the sound. Through white noise panels or features like carpeting that mask acoustics, the space can become more workable for a wide variety of employees. And if all else fails, encourage employees to bring noise-cancelling headphones so they can better concentrate at their desk.
If your office space is primarily an open plan, converting large conference rooms and offices to create smaller breakout rooms can make a big difference. Employees can then take advantage of smaller private areas where they can make phone calls, work quietly and have group meetings, all of which will reduce the sound in the common areas. Plus, employees will appreciate having a private space to make the occasional personal call.
Another way to help keep the workplace productive is by taking unused corners of the office space and build creative spaces. Using comfortable seating and artwork can give employees a break from their workstations so they can read emails, get away from loud employee conversations and tap into their creativity. Offices with space made for brainstorming can enhance innovation, particularly in collaborative fields.
Need help figuring out how to manage your open office concept? Rightsize can help.
Rightsize Facility Performance, headquartered in Chicago, IL, is a nationwide office interiors and facilities services firm serving corporate clients in transition. Founded in 2004, Rightsize employs an industry leading “Design/Furnish” approach to ensure seamless workplace transitions and is a single source for interior design, furniture procurement, delivery and installation, asset disposition, facility decommissioning and ancillary project services. Through its Office Furniture Center brand, which includes OfficeFurnitureCenter.com and a 200,000-square-foot showroom, Rightsize also provides a single source for quality workstations, desks, seating, filing, conference and reception furniture.