The open office is championed as changing the face of the workplace but also as a factor in nurturing a negative impact to working styles. The open office is blamed for its highly disruptive nature as it fosters a noisier office environment. But when it is done properly, the open office creates a more integrated way of working, better office culture and a foundation for collaboration.
We are in the age where communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing form the foundations of businesses, and ultimately, while different industries need varying levels of these qualities, there are some important things you need to do to ensure your open office is operating at its optimum levels and improving your staff’s productivity.
To make sure your office design supports your staff and the way that your people work, conducting a workplace consultancy at your office will help learn the ins and outs of your people, teams and business. Our strategic partner, Hannah Nardini, will work with you from an early stage, and run an in-depth workplace study of your office. This process will allow us to get under the skin of your business and find ways to enhance the efficiency of your office space.
Our workplace consultancy sets out to improve the productivity your workspace and gives us the opportunity to learn who you are as a company and understand your DNA. Your office space is designed and tailored to how your people should be using the space and getting the most out of the office design and layout.
Work as a team
The open office allows people to build a more personal connection between each other and a way for staff to engage with each other in a positive, human way instead of hiding behind emails and extension numbers.
It sounds so simple but when your employees are working towards the same goals as each other and foster a culture of strong relationships and collaborative culture, you improve productivity and efficiency. This can come from team adjacencies and ensuring the right people are next to each other – you wouldn’t put a loud marketing department next to accounts. Think about who sits where, and how that can improve efficiency and communication in your business.
The concept of a team doesn’t need to stop at the people in your team or immediate vicinity, communicate with different people in the business and work with new people, when possible, to help improve the quality of your team mentality in the office.
Change the way you work
What the open office has done has created a design trend for the requirement for quieter areas to provide shelter from the open office to focus, concentrate and work alone. The benefit of an open office is that you can adapt your working environment to the individual habits of your staff.
Peldon Rose’s Happy Office Winter Survey 2016 revealed that 74% of workers preferred an office layout that encourages staff move around the office but 76% of workers also said that they also valued quiet and private work spaces. Office design needs to offer a balance of spaces available, enabling staff to change the way they work.
Office furniture has evolved to allow for a mixture of environments and office design revolves around the correct implementation of furniture. Different types of office furniture enable a more flexible working style so staff can move around the office and still work effectively from a high bench or soft seating area as if it was their desk.
It is no secret that open offices, if done poorly, can be loud and disruptive but that is not to say that quiet or cellular offices are any more productive, and this is where the role of office culture comes in. Build a space that lets staff get out from behind their desks, interact with different groups of people and have fun with their colleagues. Office design has evolved to enable staff to achieve their tasks and optimise their productivity and these dynamic spaces now champion communication and collaboration but still enable those quiet, private spaces. Office design has evolved and adapted to bring these attitudes to the front of workplaces.
If you need advice and inspiration about how to make your office space work smarter, get in touch with our team of workplace designers to learn how you can enhance your new or existing office.
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