The process of seeking to grow and improve your business is a constant one that takes place through many aspects. One of those aspects is the environment in which you and your employees operate in. The environment one functions in is said to have an impact on productivity, innovation, energy and well-being.
There are different types of office design plans and arrangements that have been hailed to be the perfect solution in aiding productivity and one of those is an open plan design. This is an architectural and interior design of any floor plan that makes use of large, open spaces. The divisions between the separate areas in this space consist of mobile, flexible elements such as screens and modular furniture. The idea of open plan workspaces has changed and developed over the years with inception having taken place prior to the 1950’s. In that era, open-plan offices mostly consisted of large regular rows of desks or benches and were environments that were fairly suitable for typists, technicians or clerks who were tasked with repetitive assignments. Industrial engineers such as Henry Ford and Frederick Winslow Taylor made use of such a layout. Emergence of innovative technology then led to an evolution in open plan offices.
Let’s get into the advantages of having an open-plan office and how it can help your business grow.
The first advantage is that an open plan layout is able to benefit a company by reducing costs incurred through real estate, office equipment, utilities and construction. Such workstations are cost efficient and employees can afford to be fitted into sufficient spaces. As mentioned already, divisions used in an open plan system are mobile elements – which then immediately means there will be no need for building any walls that will take up costs of material and time in the construction phase. The improved flow of air and light also helps save on electricity as you have only one area that needs to be heated or cooled, and lighted. When it comes to equipment and stationery expenses, there is an opportunity too to cut on costs as an open plan layout promotes the shared use of resources such as printers and copiers.
The absence of physical barriers between staff encourages and promotes an atmosphere of collaboration and solidarity. A collaborative environment helps in attracting and retaining high-calibre employees. An open plan layout introduces and is responsible for the three most successful elements of communication and those are:
- Engagement – the interaction that occurs within the own circle or department of an employee
- Energy – The number of people the average employee interacts with every day, and
- Exploration – The interaction that occurs with people and social groups
These elements bring colleagues together and make it easier to locate staff and schedule meetings. Senior staff members such as supervisors and managers in this regard are also able to maintain regular contact with staff as team members are able to reach management more quickly too. In such an environment you can expect issues to be resolved much faster and that means improved and enhanced problem solving, innovation and productivity. A business’ success after all does lie in an uninterrupted flow of ideas between co-workers and departments.
Another benefit you can count on of having an open office is flexibility whenever needing to move something should a layout not work. In this day and age, business is also constantly evolving too and that means adapting to changing market circumstance and new innovations in technology. With an open plan workstation system it becomes easier to shift and rearrange the layout to fit these needs. A traditional office-based floor on other hand makes it difficult to achieve this and can get very limiting and costly.
As mentioned, offices lately are prodded into adapting to technological advancement too and this means having a design that reflects a 21st century digital work sphere. In other words, working environments now need to accommodate the much needed systems and network structures that facilitate the merging of digital communication patterns. Open plan offices are the perfect enabler for this as they adopt flexible working practices that allow employees to have access to a hot-desk or work in Wi-Fi enabled social spaces within the building.
With the above-mentioned benefit in mind, flexibility permits for the design to be more creative too. Open plan workstation layouts already have better light and air quality due to the absence of walls. They also tend to be more modern and sleek which is an impeccable fit in today’s society. Full creativity with design equates to a vibrant space that can accommodate innovations such as a café, ping-pong tables and entertainment gadgets in a common room where employees can go to have breaks. All this is a way to provide an environment where workers can relax and be able to conjure up ideas too during their free time. It goes without saying that having happy, motivated workers means increased productivity and retention.
With all the advantages mentioned, it’s also good to bear in mind the type of services you offer as a business and whether or not it would benefit your company to have an open plan office. Quite a few companies opt for a collaboration of both an open and closed-off layout. To help figure out what design may be ideal, keep in mind the amount of job autonomy, how much interaction between employees will be required, what technology will be used and the amount of workers you will have.
Contact Pod Off Grayston for affordable, high-end office space in a central location that will provide you with all that you need.