Many offices operate using an open office plan. In the past few years, it has increased in popularity because many professionals believe it leads to higher levels of collaboration and creativity. As with anything, there are also people who are critical of open office plans. They cite the studies that show open office plans could possibly cut down on productivity and provide distractions to employees. However, there are many benefits to open offices. These benefits are particularly clear if you take the time to set up a successful open office plan that cuts down on possible distractions, but also leaves room for the benefits.
Communicate your plan
If you want your open office plan to succeed, you’re going to need to set the correct tone for it. Do not suddenly announce to your employees that the following week you’ll be switching to an open office plan and direct them to go with the flow; let them know you’re considering the change and see what their thoughts are on it. Listen to any concerns people may have and highlight the many benefits. Providing information and research on how employees can benefit from open office plans can help create a positive mindset and make it more likely to succeed.
While the majority of your office can be an open floor plan, still keep room for private places where people can go to focus on an important project, move with their team to collaborate, or take a meeting or call with a client. Keeping some private areas in the office gives your employees options of where they want to work and allows them a change of scenery that best fits their mentality in the moment.
Provide flexible furniture
In addition to providing more secluded spaces for employees to seriously focus on work, using flexible furniture can help ensure your open office plan succeeds. Get standing desks that each employee has in their individual workspace or that they can go to and work at. Making sure each employee has their own laptop allows for freedom of movement or the option to change scenery. You can also create workspaces that are easy to move and reorder as employees’ needs change and develop.
Give room for personalization
An open office space does not mean that your employees need to give up individual desks and their privacy. You can use smaller dividers or even larger ones that can be raised or lowered as each employee sees fit. Letting each employee have a specific desk gives them an area to personalize and turn into an environment that encourages their productivity and is pleasing to them.