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6 Tips for Open Offices: Pros and Cons

May 19th, 2015

A common trend many companies are moving toward is dropping cubicle boundaries and creating open offices. There are positives and negatives to this choice, with emotions ranging from loving the redesigned spaces to hating them. Here are 3 pros and cons of open offices so you can decide for yourself what might work best for your workplace.

14041671879_875577ca5a_zOpen Offices: 3 Cons

  1. Increased Distractions

With open offices, employees will likely face distractions and it may be a challenge to control these factors. To combat this, consider letting employees take breaks outside, work in common spaces or use headphones when pursuing challenging or solitary projects.

  1. Decreased Privacy

Privacy is a concern in open offices since the workday takes place in communal space. To avoid frustration and employee burnout, hold regular check-ins with your team members to see if they are facing challenges or have privacy issues.

  1. Risk of Illness

Since boundaries are removed, it’s easier for you and your employees to catch cold and flu germs in open offices. Employ simple hygiene procedures like washing your hands, sneezing into your shoulder and using hand sanitizer regularly.

Open Offices: 3 Pros

  1. Create a Community

Having a group of team members all in one space creates a sense of camaraderie, teamwork and community. Many workers report feeling left out or alienated when working in small spaces and open offices can help with group bonding.

  1. Establish Open Communication

Open offices can help companies become more accessible in their approach to communication. By removing walls and cubicles, workers will be able to ask more frequent questions and collaborate regularly. For an added bonus, have managers or other supervisors in the same open space as other team members to break down boundaries and help the whole office feel included.

  1. Increased Flow of Energy

If you’re looking to insert energy and excitement into your workplace, open offices are the way to go. When boundaries are removed, workers feel free to talk and collaborate, creating a more dynamic and fluid office. Be sure to arrange your space in clusters or groups instead of rows, which can decrease morale.

An open plan workspace can create distractions and a lack of privacy, but it can also lead to increased collaboration and communication; open offices can be successful if they are free-flowing and well organized. For additional tips on keeping your team happy at work, read more articles on our blog today.

Photo Credit: K2 Space

 

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