More and more firms are choosing to use the open office format in order to create productivity and improve collaboration among workers.  For workers unfamiliar with this format, it can be a big change from the traditional offices and cubicles of the past. A study by design firm Gensler found that only one in four workers are in the optimal workplace environment.

Here are some great ideas on how to make your open office space more productive and efficient for all your team members.

Don’t Use Assigned Seating in the Open Office

In the past, workers sat in the same place in the same cubicle every day.  The management sat in closed offices with the windows.  By not assigning specific seating to your employees, you will enable them to collaborate at a higher level.  This will also help employees that need to work more quietly, to move over to quieter places in the office, when other workers are collaborating together.

Having a variety of different spaces for different purposes will also help employees collaborate when needed, but also be able to concentrate quietly when more focused tasks need completed.

Have a Designated Collaboration Area

By having a designated collaboration area, people have a place to go when they want to share ideas with their coworkers.  This also prevents interruption when people are working quietly at their stations. The designated collaboration area can also be a place to spread out ideas on a table, use a marker board, or go through something on the overhead screen.

Although not a conference room,  this area would be open for all people who have ideas that they want to share with others on the team.

Create a Designated Quiet Space

People have all kinds of different working styles, so it’s important to incorporate both spaces for introverts and extroverts in your open office plan.  There’s also tasks that need to be done in a quiet environment that require a lot of concentration.  Traditionally, closed conference rooms or offices are used for quiet space for concentration that is needed to complete tasks. These quiet spaces would be free of telephone conversation and other distractions that would keep people from getting their work done.  The difference is this quiet space would only be a small designated part of the office.  The quiet space would be designed to allow incorporation into the collaborative open office floor plan.

Open office plans are here to stay, and more and more offices are choosing to embrace this style of office design.  Another reason for the increased popularity of the open office plan is the cost per square foot of Class A office space.  An open office plan allows the seating of more employees, and has less constraints due to people’s individual requests for interior design and layout.

Using some of the design ideas mentioned in this article as a principle for designing your open office space will help your office maintain productivity, while taking into account everyone works differently at the office.

Source: NAI Global

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