Since the late 1980s, we saw open-plan office designs in the workplace, as companies strived to create an environment that was conducive to raising productivity; fast forward to today and just about every office is open plan.
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What are the benefits associated with an open layout where employees have workstations, rather than separate rooms?
- Faster communication – If your employees are able to talk to each other across an open space, this will result in more getting done, regardless of what kind of business you run. This is one of the main reasons why business owners prefer an open-plan office, and with effective office noise reduction in place, you have the perfect working environment.
- Creating a culture of dialogue – Ideally, you want your design team to be creative and by creating an open environment, they can sit together and share ideas and concepts. Sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is to sit down and have an open discussion; open plan workspaces are perfect for brainstorming.
- Team collaboration – The fact that all staff are in close proximity means improved team morale, which is great for sales, design and marketing.
Dealing with ambient noise
- Noise-cancelling headphones – Noise-cancelling headphones are a game-changer and you should find an online supplier and acquire units for your employees. This improves focus and enables clear communication using digital platforms without ambient noise impacting the conversation.
- Acoustic tiles – Sound waves bounce off hard surfaces such as walls, floors and ceilings, which is why you should have a few tiles installed by a team of acoustic experts which makes quite a difference to the acoustic properties.
With communication and close proximity, the chance of interpersonal conflict increases; if people are closer together than they normally would be and they are encouraged to get to know each other better, it is inevitable that some will not see eye to eye. It is management’s job to nip such things in the bud; there are online courses to teach you how to handle employee conflicts, which can avert a crisis.
When you weigh everything up, open-plan office designs have a lot to offer an organisation and if there is ambient noise, order some acoustic room dividers and that should solve the problem. The traditional model of putting employees in small rooms is not conducive to modern business practices; most offices are open plan with good use of partitions, which are interchangeable and come in full and half sizes.
The most important thing is to create the type of culture where stakeholders are committed to finding solutions and achieving organisation goals. This is easier to attain with an open-plan design and there are online suppliers of office furniture and equipment, which means you can create the right ambience.
If you need some help with office design, talk to a leading Australian office fitout company, as they have a team of office design professionals.