The times are changing. And so are traditional office spaces.
Gone are the days where you can sit alone in your office cubicle, completing shutting yourself off from the rest of your department. Today’s modern office set-up eliminates cubicle dividers allowing employees from every department and their managers to sit in close proximity to one another.
The advantages abound according to many studies on the matter; and now, more and more companies are deciding to tear down those walls. Soon you will be expected to—gasp—talk to and even look at your coworkers!
So, let’s explore some of the advantages to these new wide-open spaces.
Advantage #1: Encourages Employee Collaboration
Employee collaboration is one advantage to working in an open workspace. Put aside your feelings about sitting next to the loudest or chattiest person in the office, and think about the likelihood of you picking that or another coworker’s brain about a project you are working on or asking them for a suggestion on how to solve a problem. A more fluid working environment will encourage workers to reach out to each other more, which in the best case scenario, can often lead to business innovation—a win-win for any company.
Advantage #2: Improves Workflow and Communication
So communication and collaboration goes hand-in-hand. But more than encouraging employee collaboration, an open workspace also improves a company’s workflow.
One obvious reason why this is true is that the removal of cubicles will allow easier interaction between employees. It also creates more access to managers, allowing them to stay tapped in. Easier interaction between employees—andeasier interaction between those employees and their managers—equates to more fluid communication. That, in turn, will translate to work getting done more efficiently and in a more timely fashion.
Advantage #3: Decreases Employee Misconduct
So, how much web surfing does your employees do at work when they think no one can see them? Well, if your company is in the minority and has absolutely no employees that would never ever dream of doing such a thing, this does not apply to you. But for everyone else, know that working in an open workspace will decrease the likelihood of employee misconduct on and off of the computer.
According to a Jones Lang LaSalle and Ethisphere Institute survey, open workspaces foster improved ethical behavior. They found that it reduces the use of offensive language and the temptation to abuse the use of the Internet or other time-stealers.
Advantage #4: Boosts Employee Morale
Advantages 1-3 contributes greatly to our fourth advantage—a boost to employee morale. Trust is a natural and beneficial byproduct of an office with increased employee collaboration, more fluid communication, efficient workflow, and a decrease in employee misconduct. Knowing what is going on in the office and getting to know your coworkers better breeds trust; trust in your fellow coworkers and in their ability and willingness to do their jobs.
Advantage #5: Reduces Carbon Footprint
This advantage applies less to the employees and to the building itself. An open work space greatly reduces the building’s carbon footprint by using less space. Going green by optimizing office space in this way will end up saving the company a lot of green in the long run. Productivity increases equaling large financial returns. Check out other ways to green commercial buildings.
Maybe it’s time to restore employee morale in your office? With all of these advantages to working in an open workspace, how can your office not benefit?