Business leaders are always looking for ways to enable more positivity and productivity amongst staff. One of the most common methods is implementing an open floor plan for the office. However, before any chairs and desks get moved around, business leaders should familiarize themselves with the benefits and drawbacks of open floor plans. That way, they can use best practices to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
Benefits of an Open Floor Plan
Perhaps the most common reason business leaders like the concept of an open floor plan is that it enhances communication among employees. Without barriers between desks, employees can quickly check if someone is busy and ask questions related to work. It streamlines the communication process, which can be particularly useful for project-heavy operations.
An open floor plan encourages not only more natural communication, but also improved innovation. Ideas can spread throughout a building more quickly when businesses promote a culture of idea-sharing and perspective. This leads to well-crafted ideas that can rapidly develop to make significant impacts on companies and clients.
Of course, the cost is an essential factor when deciding on a floor plan. Open layouts require fewer materials, thus saving businesses plenty in overhead expenses.
Drawbacks of an Open Floor Plan
Communication is a major contributing factor to why this concept is so popular, but it can also be a drawback. When discussions are encouraged in a more casual environment, it can be tempting to strike up a non-work-related conversation. This leads to added noise within the office that can deter employees from completing their work properly. Rules mandating noise levels and periods of focus may be helpful.
Next is a lack of privacy between workstations. Without walls or other barriers, employee computer screens are visible to everyone around them. In addition, conversations with clients do not stay private due to the proximity between desks. Call rooms and private areas may provide a reasonable alternative that solves this issue.
Is this floor concept right for your own business? It depends on your industry, company size, and available space. Many offices enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open floor concept, while others require a more rigid structure. Whatever the case, with the benefits and drawbacks laid out, it should be easier to make a sound decision.