It?s recently been reported that open plan offices don?t boost productivity or improve communication.
The study of 42,000 US office workers in 303 buildings resulted in the researchers concluding that open-plan layouts are disruptive due to ?uncontrollable noise and loss of privacy? and were ?clearly outperformed? by enclosed private offices. But there are many benefits to an open plan office design which cannot be gained by working in a cubicle office design.
An open plan office design maximises the number of employees that can be comfortably seated within a space. Without partitioning walls, there is more room for desks, chairs and storage.
Compared to a cubicle office design, an open plan layout is usually much lighter and brighter too, which makes it a more pleasant environment to work in ? leading to increased employee well-being and reduced staff turnover.
An open plan office design also allows the greatest freedom of movement within a workspace, enabling members of staff to move from one part of the office to another or from one job role to another, with the minimum of disruption or downtime. The arrangement of seating and workstations can be altered easily, especially if there is a liberal supply of telephone, power and computer points in the building.
Another benefit of an open plan office is that it helps to encourage teamwork and enables employees to interact easily with each other. Any decision sought from supervisory or managerial level can be easily and quickly obtained making communication faster and more effective.
However, open plan offices do have their downsides. The open space and noise can be distracting for some employees leading to reduced concentration and productivity. As highlighted in the Study, privacy can also be an issue, with an open plan design. For example, management and HR meetings will require a private meeting room to discuss confidential information.
But,there is a way to gain all the benefits of open plan office design without an increase in noise and loss of privacy, through the use of glass partitioning.
Glass partitioning to improve an open plan office
Glass partitioning creates a modern, spacious feel to any office environment, maximising on natural light to create a truly open feel whilst at the same time providing a level of privacy sufficient for closed door meetings.
Glass partitioning can be used in an open plan office space to create private areas as it is available in both clear and frosted glass and a manifestation can be applied in a wide range of designs. With the double-glazed units you have the option of an integrated window blind for added privacy and protection from sunlight.
To reduce noise and soundproof areas of the office where noise levels are higher, such as in the sales room, glass partitioning can be soundproofed. Managers and other key personnel may benefit from a quiet, partitioned office space where they can focus more easily on the work in hand.
In each of these instances, glass partitioning can improve the overall functionality of the office space, adding the benefits of a cubicle office design, with the minimum loss of space. It is easily and quickly erected and can be just as easily, dismantled and rearranged.