Everybody nowadays wants a trendy open concept office, and while it definitely breeds a more social and‘open’ office, not everything is so simple with this concept.
Open offices definitely create more social wellbeing. It opens people up to being closer with their coworkers. Google has been going by this model for years and has inspired a pretty huge trend for tech, design, and other companies all over the world. So much so that nearly 70% of workers in the United States work in an office that is open concept in one-way or another. But what’s good for Google isn’t necessarily good for everyone else, but there are some serious positives to open offices. Firstly, sitting all day is terrible for our bodies and is slowly killing us. A slouched back and eye-strain is very common for any office working who stares at a screen all day. Also, studies have shown that sitting all day makes for a decrease in productivity. Secondly, I don’t think it needs to be mentioned that a lack of socializing for an entire working day can have some seriously negative effects on moral. Obviously that isn’t necessarily the case in closed office spaces but it definitely makes communication a lot harder. Companies like Google, I’m sure, have seen an increase in productivity and creativity within their companies, but the negative effects do exist, and aren’t exactly minimal.
While some people can thrive in an open concept work place, there are plenty that don’t fare so well. A lot of creatives are introverted and the ones that aren’t, well, everyone needs privacy and alone time every once and a while. So, while open concept offices increase social wellbeing, there is a limit to that. According to some tests and case studies, a lack of privacy can decrease productivity and creativity. So while being good for brainstorming and working in short bursts, constantly being in the presence of others, especially superiors, hinders your productive and creative workflows.
The key is finding a balance of the open concept office collaborative workspace and the privacy that a more closed workspace allows. We addressed this problem a little bit with our Loop phone booth. Every open concept office has a need for privacy: a safe area where people can have a bit of alone time. Offices need to take a moment to reevaluate how they operate and design the proper experience for their workers.
If you want to find out more about our Loop private phone booth, or want to chat about possible solutions to an open workspace problem, just give us a holler.