Why Open Plan Offices Don’t Work…And What You Should Be Using Instead

Workers Have Lack Of Control Over Their Environment

Open offices are ideal for some companies, and indeed many firms implement them to motivate their workforce. However, it means workers have a lack of control over their environment. There are multiple distractions, and some workers tend to voice their displeasure over the lack of privacy.

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From loud talking to impromptu meetings, phone calls and birthday celebrations, the noise can be elevated so much that it encourages workers to lose concentration. Flow of thinking is interrupted, causing irritation which can only be bad for productivity.

Some, when in a crowded space, feel their thinking is also crowded, and they feel overwhelmed by the constant stimuli, unable to escape. In an environment where the employees’ work is expected to be accurate and precise, space, both physical and mental, is essential. The quality of ideas and work as a whole will rise.

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Traditional Companies Have Moved to Open Spaces

Some companies will encourage people to use wide open spaces because they believe in the opportunities which arise through people walking past and passing on new ideas. It sounds ideal on paper, but in practice it’s frowned upon by managers, who demand productivity and don’t see that put into action when everyone is in the same busy space.

Around 80 per cent of offices have put an open floor plan into practice on their premises. Even traditional companies have moved to an open space to create ambience and creativity among the workforce.

But according to research, employees are the ones who suffer, as they have found the space to be stressful and disruptive to their workflow. Rather than feeling closer, colleagues felt dissatisfied and less productive.

Regardless of what set up you have in mind, there are a number of office fit out companies such as mobiusatwork.co.uk that provide quality interior design and state-of-the-art spaces.

According to CNBC, Stephen Dubner, economist and host of the popular podcast ‘Freakonomics’, says open offices are a scourge. He says it’s more likely to lead to stress and diminished productivity.

The noise level is often an issue in an open office and, again, this is another obstacle to productivity. Physical barriers allow for privacy, and this has been shown in a number of studies to boost employees’ performance.