Open office design is one of the trendiest corporate office concepts these days. With an emphasis on promoting team collaboration, open office design is especially popular amongst startups due to its advantages of being flexible and cost-efficient. However, open office design does not come without its drawbacks. Although open office design is touted to facilitate interaction between coworkers, it has been found that offices that convert from a conventional office design to an open office design actually have a significant reduction in face-to-face interaction. If you are thinking about using an open office design, here are some tips to help you approach it to minimize the drawbacks.
With open office design, it is easy to converse with another coworker who sits a few tables away due to the lack of barriers. While this does help to facilitate collaboration and teamwork, it creates a noisy environment that makes it difficult for others in the office to focus on their own work.
If employees are spending a large amount of time trying to block out the noise or getting distracted by conversations that are irrelevant to their work, productivity will definitely decrease. Some employees may be mindful about not disturbing their coworkers and choose to move their discussions online. All of these ways of dealing with the noise issue defeat the purpose of incorporating open office design.
To effectively manage this drawback of open office design, noise reduction efforts must be made. While conventional office dividers are removed in open office design, office acoustics can be improved by making some adjustment to the office ceiling and walls. Wooden milled panels can be used as timber acoustic panels to absorb excessive noise. They are available in different groove widths to accommodate the acoustic needs of different offices. For a more aesthetically-pleasing design, consider moss acoustic panels, which are also highly effective at sound absorption. They are made of real moss but do not require any maintenance at all.
Intuitively, many people believe that the absence of physical barriers between employees would increase their face-to-face interaction. However, this does not work out in practice. It is expected that all employees desire privacy to some extent, yet open office design does not allow for that. As such, employees turn to other methods to maintain their privacy, such as by moving conversations online to avoid an overload of face-to-face interaction. To get around this problem yet still retain the open office concept, companies can put up panels to form divisions around the office to allow employees to work both privately and collaboratively.
Materials Inc. carries a wide range of stylish and durable materials that can greatly improve open office design to increase productivity. Whether you are looking for flooring, wall, or ceiling materials, contact Materials Inc. today so we can help you.