When it comes to productivity the jury is still out on whether open concept office space is the way to go…The case for Open Offices The argument for open office spaces has its roots in community and communication. The idea is, if you put all your employees next to each other in an open space you encourage open collaboration and communication. Employees feel like they are part of a community and ‘in the loop’ with what is going on around them. It develops camaraderie and positive morale. Open concept offices are also popular as a way to cut space costs as you can squeeze more people into a smaller space when they aren’t separated by walls and doors. People using open office spaces generally report being happier, which makes sense considering the emphasis on the social environment and less walls to block out natural light. Benefits of the Open Office: Promotes Collaboration Builds a corporate culture and increases morale Stimulates Innovation and breakthroughs Focuses on Teamwork Encourages open communication Provides a social atmosphere Cut costs on space per employee. What do Open Offices overlook? The downfall of open offices, and the main arguments against them, are the distractions and lack of privacy. Different people have different work styles. There is a time for teamwork and collaboration and there is a time for concentration and solitude for the sake of productivity. If you are trying to focus on a project, the chaos of an open space might not be conducive to efficiency. If your task is confidential or sensitive, a lack of privacy might lead to more serious concerns. Cons of the Open Office:Can be chaotic or distracting Can get noisey Can dampen productivity. May exclude employees who are more effective working in solitude Privacy concern for sensitive tasks Is there one solution?Because of different personality and work types, one type of space does not fit all, and the danger is losing potentially productive employees. So the solution seems to be a combination of collaborative and private work spaces, that encourages communication and culture but also allows for privacy and focus when needed. If you have an open space, make sure you are providing your employees with a separate space to accommodate times when they need to focus. If you have a closed style office space maybe it is time to consider the benefits of a more open culture of collaboration.SuiteWorks is pleased to offer businesses in Barrie and Simcoe County a range of office space, from co-working desks to connected suites. Call us to arrange a tour and find out more. 1.866.967.5711.