Open offices versus traditional office spaces – which works best?
If you are an entrepreneur wondering what’s the best way to organize the available space you have so that you encourage productivity in the office, this is the place to find out what to do next. There are several methods of organizing the offices in a company. You can either opt for an open office or the traditional office spaces that everyone already got used to.
Although most companies have adopted a workspace policy that involves creative, airy and open spaces, in fact, many employees are secretly seeking to return to the good old days when they had a minimal sense of intimacy when their office was separated from the rest. Thus, they could separate themselves from the noise and discussions happening outside the office and starting to get productive in a relaxed, quiet place where they can run their activities.
Why have so many organizations choose the open, joint offices? Continuous noise can cause a strong discomfort that affects both the health, concentration power and performance of an employee, researchers say. They also state that most employees are unable to adapt to agitation, noise and the noises of telephones and other multimedia devices in overcrowded offices. Although the open space system reduces rental costs, people should keep in mind that the costs of losing an employee in the middle of a busy month can cost more than investing into traditional working spaces in the first place. Anyway, both types have advantages and disadvantages, and they will be presented in this article. Here’s what you should know:
Open space offices are preferred by companies, largely because of economic factors – more employees can be kept in a smaller place. But it is also supposed to favor communication. The main idea is that open spaces encourage more communication between employees and develop the spirit of community. Generally, private office employees are satisfied with their work space and don’t have specific requests regarding this matter. Open office workers expressed strong dissatisfaction with the noise they need to face, and this was more common in open-ended offices with partial delimitations.
The distinctive factor in associating it with the general levels of employee satisfaction was the amount of space. Other factors varied in their association with overall satisfaction depending on the different office plans. Noise is associated with the overall satisfaction of open-space office staff while natural lighting and ease of interaction were more closely related to the overall satisfaction of individual office employees.
The main breakthrough determines whether the cost of privacy loss weighs more for employees working in open-ended offices than the benefits of communicating easier and faster. In fact, there is a previous study that indicates that open space offices can discourage communication between colleagues due to the lack of privacy encountered. It was a trend among private office staff to be more satisfied with communicating more effectively than open-space office workers. Moreover, the analysis has shown that the results of better communication have not compensated for the dissatisfaction of employees in open space-related office space related to noise and privacy issues in terms of overall satisfaction.
Individual offices are the most convenient places for employees to run activities that require a high degree of focus. Open space spaces have multiple advantages, especially for repetitive office activities. An open space office is more suitable for joint work compared to an open-space office due to the constant background noise that is created. Conversations and noises are not present in a traditional office, thus making focusing easier. This leads to better productivity as well.
At the same time, open space facilitates better communication and interaction among people, which can lead to a higher innovative effervescence, and maintain focus on tasks in some cases better compared to individual offices due to the transparency that is being created and the fact that everyone can track the level and volume of professional activity of others. At Signomatic – custom signs company – employees can print their own names to place on each cubicle for better organization and knowing or reaching each other easier.
The combination of the two types of office (individual and open-space) is the best. The optimal solution is to set up open spaces with certain rules, doubled by the existence of individual offices to use for anyone who has to undertake individual creative or concentration tasks, plus formal or informal workspaces for brainstorming as a team.
Until recently, there has been a fairly widespread approach on the market, which involves the following: space and workstation are of no importance and therefore expenditure must be minimized for saving money. Entrepreneurs make purchases at the lowest prices in the market, no matter who and how many suppliers, it does not matter the impact of these facilities on the performance of the organization, the health and satisfaction of employees and partners.
There is encountered another trend on the market, determined by the consequences of the previously mentioned behavior. Under the pressure of the human resource sector that puts an emphasis on job quality, the need to strengthen the image of a professional organization on the market and under the burdens of uninterrupted maintenance and the difficulties in dealing with low-quality suppliers, there is a rather wide range of local suppliers for integrated solutions for offices or interior design firms that often lack the know-hows and the integration vision skill in workspace design. From getting custom signs online to investing in good lighting options, all finishing details matter for the final result. The entrepreneur is the one who decides how much allocates for the ambiance created in the office.
Thus, in many situations’ entrepreneurs needed to spend very large budgets for improvements that have very little to no effect on the performance of the organization, and for the essential elements for productivity and human health, such as individual offices, there are no resources left. In the case of CEOs of international firms chosen as suppliers, much higher budgets are attributed to this task because they are generally intermediary firms and after-sales services are more difficult to handle. The flexibility in providing solutions after the end of the initial project is reduced.