How do you fair in an open office?
80% of all offices have an open floor plan versus private offices, and it is becoming an even more popular trend in the modern work setting.
Despite the popularity of an open office setting, between 25-30% of employees in open office environments were dissatisfied with the level of noise in their workplace. While that’s not the majority, it’s still a significant number of people.
Companies are looking to create a space where employees want to be, and different arrangements work better for different people. An open office might be a better environment for extroverts and a private office may be more effective for introverts.
As one of Florida’s top staffing agencies, we go over the pros and cons of an open office environment. Enjoy!
An open office environment allows for very little to no privacy. There are endless distractions, including visual noise, which is seeing movement out of your peripheral vision. Hearing other people’s conversations and phone calls can impair a worker’s ability to recall information. The sounds of phones ringing, people typing, and the copier can be irritating when you’re trying to focus as well. You simply can’t shut these interferences out no matter how good you are at concentrating.
With everyone being in close proximity in an open office, it’s much easier to spread illnesses. There is no space to deal with personal issues, so if someone is visually upset it can disrupt the whole team. If a personal phone call needs to be made or received, employees must move to a more private area.
Often employees suffer exhaustion from being “on” or engaged all the time at work. Studies show that the long term effects of working in an open office environment can lead to increased stress, decreased motivation, and a lack of productivity.
Now that we have gone through all the negatives, there are definitely positives to an open office environment as well. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be so trendy. Having an open work space creates a sense of community and helps everyone feel like they are a part of the team. It encourages employees to be more connected to the company and enhances the flow of information.
Open offices foster better team communication and collaboration, as it’s much easier to interact without any barriers. Sharing close quarters with your colleagues allows for more socializing.
An open office is cost effective. It requires less materials and furniture. It also allows a company’s workspace to be more flexible, since it’s easy to rearrange based on staff growth.
Additionally, bosses love open offices as it gives them the ability to keep a close eye on their employees. They can make sure their employees are not surfing the web or always texting and that they’re making the most of business hours.
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