Open Offices

Open Offices

By: Brittany Werth

The open office plan was supposed to promote a collaborative company culture, create a lighter, happier and more open office environment and promote productivity. Yet articles popping up all over the place paint quite a different picture. So, what went wrong?

We need privacy. Togetherness at work can be vital for creation and easy access to one another is important for a successful collaborative environment. But, spaces to get away, focus and recharge are necessary. Steelcase studied over 10,000 workers across 14 different countries, 70% of whom are working in open office spaces or a combination of individual and open offices. 69% of those surveyed fell into the ‘Somewhat Satisfied’, ‘Dissatisfied’ or ‘Highly Dissatisfied’ categories in relation to their workplace environment. Of those less than satisfied workers, 85% said that they did not have a work environment where they could concentrate easily. Many companies are seeing a direct correlation between the rise in open office floorplans and the rise in employees who are working remotely, in an attempt to regain some privacy.

In an effort to combat this and bring back the privacy that is missing from the workplace, office spaces have been combining completely open areas with private offices, cubicles, collaborative areas and sound proof rooms. This is proving to be the most effective option. People work best and thrive in very different environments, there is no one size fits all office space, and areas that can remain versatile have the best chance of success.

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