Work Out What's Not Working In Your Open Plan Office

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Open-plan offices have been in the working world since
way back in 1939 thanks to individuals like Frank Lloyd Wright. A look into the history books reveals that this way of working may even date back further than standard cubicle offices. And, in an age of trendy office designs, open-plan is very much experiencing a comeback. Some bosses even swear that open-plans build upon collaboration and help to enhance creativity. For these reasons and more, you’ve taken it upon yourself to embrace this way of working. From what you can see and what your staff tell you, though, it isn’t working.

The reality is that open-plan sounds good on paper but doesn’t always work out. It can, of course, be a fantastic office addition. But, we all know that open-plan isn’t plain sailing. To make sure that you get the benefits not the cons, consider the following potential pitfalls.

Too much noise

If all your colleagues are together in one space, even a few conversations can lead to an influx of noise. And, unsurprisingly, noise can make concentration difficult. That, in turn, can lead to significant reductions in productivity. The good news is that the risk of sound levels needn’t mean that you can’t utilize open-plan spaces at all. Simply installing measures like these acoustic panels can go a huge way towards reducing echoes in a space, meaning that even a few convos needn’t bother workers across the office. Putting rules in place around respectful working and monitored noise levels could also go a long way towards lessening this issue. 

No accounting for personal taste

As a boss, taking care of your staff should be a top priority. And, part of that means accounting for the needs of each member of your team. Management on an individual level like this typically refers to issues like health complaints or personal problems. But, it should also come down to personal working preferences. Some people may thrive in the buzz of a cooperative space, but some may prefer a quiet office from which to do most of their thinking. Instead of pushing an open plan on everyone, then, give your team more freedom to decide how they work. Something like a quiet room could work well here, or even allowing for remote work. That way, the people who love the buzz can stay put, while those who value quiet thinking time can get what they need to do their jobs well. 

Overwhelming your clients

Imagine how overwhelmed a client might feel upon walking into a bustling and open office environment. They may feel confused about who to approach and could even walk right out again. That’s not good for you or your business. Luckily, there is a simple way around this, and it comes in the form of a reception area. With the inclusion or a reception desk, this makes for a quieter and more straightforward area for clients on arrival. And, that ensures your open plan office never costs you a sale. 

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