We are all too familiar with the open plan office. Almost every major corporation, except possibly for a few notable names like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Groupon, have an open plan office. Open plan office space in Connecticut and the rest of the country characteristically eschew individual office spaces in favor of large rows of desks, small cubicles, or open workstations all contained in a single, large, open space—thus the name.
The idea behind an open plan office is to promote collaboration among employees, hence, too, the term “collaborative space”. However, studies have shown that collaborative work spaces can lower real estate values to a significant degree; moreover, more and more people are starting to see the backlash from having such a layout at work.
Here are the top five reasons why an open plan office may not be a good idea after all:
- There are just too many distractions. In a 2013 study conducted by the global design firm Gensler, it was found that three out of four employees felt that an open plan office did not help promote individual concentration, nor did it encourage collaboration. Half of the participants even admitted to being constantly distracted by others when all they wanted to do was to focus.Both auditory and visual distractions are common occurrences in an open office workplace. Think increased noise levels and an unbearable mixture of smells from different workstations.
- There is virtually no privacy for employees. Computer screens are also out there in the open for everyone to see. Private phone conversations can be heard by anyone nearby. Private or classified client information has a higher chance of being compromised by colleagues or other personnel.
- Employees do not have their own personal space. Many open plan offices have unassigned seating, which means nomadic employees without permanent workstations⎯you pick where you want to work each day. Your favorite spot might be occupied the next day by someone who got in earlier.
- There is decreased productivity. Not to mention decreased overall motivation, in an open plan environment, employees are bound to get distracted from their tasks, which means less work getting done.
- Disease and sickness simply thrive in an open space environment. When one employee gets the flu, it is expected that two or three more will catch it in the next few days or even the week after, until all the employees have gotten sick in turn. Absenteeism leads to a further decrease in productivity.
- More and more employees are reportedly experiencing higher levels of stress, fatigue, headache, and loss of focus while working in an open plan office. Why? Constant interruptions can cause cortisol levels to go up and lower our immune system, causing further health issues down the line.
The negative effects of an open plan office environment are becoming all too apparent. As a result, many companies have started to revamp their entire office layout. For your office space in Westport CT, you might want to take heed, too.
Consult Connecticut Business Centers today! With years of experience in office space solutions, we can help your business achieve its goals.