With the ideal workspace, employees are able to communicate more effectively by working together to reach common goals. Today’s offices are more frequently turning into open or shared offices, allowing for open communication, better relationships between co-workers, and more. But the open concept does come with a few drawbacks, as recent studies have shown a decrease in productivity, as well as increase the risk of spreading germs and illnesses. If you’re looking to create a better space for employees, learn more about the ideal open workspace below.
The Open or Shared Work Office
Co-working spaces, also known as open or shared workspaces, are popular and no doubt help overall budgets when it comes to a remodel or adding more people into a workplace environment.
They’re the perfect place for groups of employees to come together and to be able to share ideas as well as work alongside each other to reach common goals. Instead of small cubicles for each employee or providing private offices for each, open workplaces have fewer walls and obstructions. Through careful design choices, these open rooms can do a lot more to enhance productivity and boost relationships instead of causing an unnecessary distraction.
Why an open work office may be the way to go?
Open offices create a space for employees to bond and work as a team. This layout allows workers to feel like they’re a part of a community, not just another employee, supporting deeper interconnected professional relationships. There is typically less competition, more flexibility with work schedules, and a greater opportunity for collaboration, so employees can feel they have a better work-life balance, leading to a better overall outlook, not to mention results.
But do remember open offices require a certain work culture.
Before changing the design of a workplace, it’s best to ensure the open or shared office space will work well for your company’s specific needs. Every office has a unique culture, and some are perfect for expanded areas, while other environments may not be. If you have doubts about whether an open office will work within your current culture, survey your team for feedback and ask what environments would help them work better. Once your team comes on board with the idea of an open concept environment, then make necessary design changes that will benefit the company and the employee’s wellbeing.
Create a Flexible Layout
With an open or shared space, the controversy comes into play when distractions are prone. By creating a flexible space, you can alleviate this problem altogether. It should be easy to move walls, chairs, tables, and anything else necessary to reconfigure the space when changes are needed. Here at KLEIN, we specialize in hardware used to create moveable partitions and wide-opening doors, creating the most ideal workplace layout with an open concept. Once the meeting is finished, the walls can be moved out of the way to go back to the open workspace.
Create Communal Spaces
Even within an open space, there are different sections that cater to employee needs. A part of the office should be dedicated to communal or breakout spaces that help encourage more interactions between employees or a place to take a rest. This can be done by creating a kitchen area, a sitting area with more comfortable furniture, or a game room for employees when they need a break. It is important to keep communal spaces removed from workspaces so employees can have quiet while they’re working, but communal spaces are needed because of the many benefits they offer.
Ensure Plenty of Outlets are Accessible
It goes without saying how important outlets are within a workspace, but this is something that can be easily overlooked in an open workspace, where walls are not plentiful. Having access to use devices such as laptops, phones, and tablets are very common in today’s commercial settings. Ensure you have plenty of outlets for your employees to do their job successfully.
Keep Storage Spaces in Mind
When employees are working, they need somewhere to keep their belongings safe. Locking storage solutions are a great idea as they can keep belongings safe while ensuring the employee has easy access to them when needed. This way, employees don’t have to carry personal belongings with them when they move about the office or worry about something going missing.
Make Sure There are Private Spaces
Private spaces are needed, even if most of the office is open. During the workday, employees may need a private space to work on projects that need strict concentration or may need somewhere to make a phone call where they won’t have to worry about background noises.
Private spaces should be available whenever they’re needed. One way to do this with an open concept is to use the hardware available from KLEIN to create movable partitions that can be used to create distraction-free spaces when necessary.
If you’re ready to design a better workspace for your employees, a shared or open workplace may be the perfect option. There are plenty of benefits and when designed properly, few to no downsides. When you’re designing the workspace, don’t forget to check out KLEIN to learn more about the hardware available for sliding door and partition systems. This could help you create an open office with the ability to have more private spaces as needed, giving your employees the best of both worlds.
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