Open Space Offices Could be Counterproductive

Office Space

There are modern trends in office layouts these days. Having open space offices is one of them. This idea actually started way back in the 50’s. However, it only caught up recently where about 70% of all working spaces follow the trend. You might think that it works really well because a lot of offices use this strategy. The truth is that it could be counterproductive. Here are some reasons why you should avoid it.

There is no privacy

This could be the biggest down side of this concept. People don’t have privacy. Instead of being encouraged to work, they feel like they are being watched all the time. They become more conscious of their actions instead of being more accurate about what they are working on.

Open office no privacy

Everyone needs space

Open space means everyone can go anywhere. This means that some people who wish to just have a private space won’t have it anymore. The problem is that humans are not robots. We could not just hit the go button so we can start working. There are instances when we have to take our time to relax or gather our thoughts before working. This is better than working right away when your heart is not yet set to do anything. Having a private space is still necessary.

People have different working styles

Open space designs work under the assumption that everyone has the same working styles. They work well by collaboration, open discussion, throwing out ideas and just having fun. Some people work this way but others don’t. There are those who would rather be alone as they tend to be more productive. These people feel like they are not respected when they have to follow the working styles of others. They also become less productive. Closed spaces mean that people can work in whatever way they want.

Creativity is forced

Open space offices were originally designed to promote creativity. The problem is that creativity is not forced. Just because you see each other or you work together does not mean creativity comes out. Even if it does, it might seem forced. This is counterproductive. You want creativity to come out organically. People need time to think and concentrate before they can come up with anything meaningful. Rushing them by tearing down walls won’t help.

How to solve the problem

The best way to deal with office designs is to still keep private areas. They don’t have to be totally private where people can lock themselves in and not work. Semi-open cubicles are preferred. There should be a common area where people can sit on bean bags, play games or do whatever they want if they think it could extract their creative juices. It should be a special area designed just for them. Those who go there understand what to expect if they go there. This doesn’t force everyone to work in the same manner.

As a manager, you need to think about some trends really well before following them. Just because they work with big companies does not mean the same thing will happen to you.

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