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We've just come across a great article on WorkPlace Insight which questions why the employer love affair with open plan office design continues.

There?s much talk about how an open plan office fosters better lines of communication, improves team spirit and motivation and promotes collaboration (the current buzz word!).

But is this a guise under which management hide?

As the Workplace Insight article suggests, perhaps the real reason that Managers love the open plan office design so much, is that it allows them to keep an eye on what everyone is doing?

Quite often, the reality of working in an open plan office is that people feel distracted by noise levels and interruptions. And with very little privacy, any conversations that do take place aren't of the same quality of those that occur when taken into a quiet environment.

So how we achieve the perfect utopia of enhanced team work and collaboration and elimination of noise interference whilst satisfying Management?s need to know what we?re all up to?

Office partitioning certainly has a part to play. Its available in many colours, shapes and sizes so not only adds sound absorption and privacy but also looks great too. As an office refurbishment and fit-out company, we can certainly assist with the creation of an office design that achieves a good balance between open plan and private working.

With the right combination of office partitioning, good office furniture, a well-thought out space plan, dedicated break-out spaces and meeting rooms and of course, some expertise of an experienced office refurbishment company, an open plan office design can work really well.

An idea that caught our attention comes from Alexi Marmot, an Architect and University Professor at UCL University College London. She suggests that office layout shouldn't be a compromise between private and public space, but one which offers both things to its employees whenever they need them. Alexi talks of allowing employees the freedom to wander around with their laptops, hiding out in a quiet space when they need it or seeking out colleagues when collaboration is required.

For many this requires a shift in Management thinking but this could be where office design is heading.

If you need help creating your own workplace utopia, give us a call. We're a specialist office refurbishment company with over 20 years experience so we've got a fair few tricks up our sleeve when it comes to creating exceptional office design.