Open plan offices get a bad rap but it doesn’t necessarily deserve it. There are a few conditions to the open plan office that help make it one employees actually enjoy working in. These conditions can help to foster collaboration between teams and departments in the office space. Here’s how you can make the open plan work for your business.
Match the environment to the interactions employees need
The open plan office is designed to foster collaboration between employees who need to interact with each other to work on a single project. However, this isn’t the case for those employees who are not involved with that particular project or if they need to interact with someone over the phone or via the internet. These interactions need a private space to avoid disrupting other employees. If your teams need to be collaborating and interacting with each other regularly, the open plan office can aid that. If that’s not the case, consider providing a number of private meeting rooms.
Explain your vision to employees
Before you transform the office into an open plan, explain your vision of the new design to employees. This will help to create a connection to space, one that is a strong factor in employees thriving in their environment. Employees will know what they can expect from the new design and raise any concerns they have that can be considered into the design. The way managers portray the open plan design determines how enthusiastic employees are about their new work spaces.
Encourage employees to adapt the space
In order to promote employee satisfaction with their new open plan office design, encourage them to adapt and personalise the space to make it their own. This can be as simple as allowing employees to display sentimental items or photographs on their desks to something as practical as reconfiguring furniture to work with the needs of the team.
Allow the use of headphones
One of the most common complaints from employees working in an open plan office is distractions. Creating a virtual wall will prevent employees from becoming distracted and allow them to focus on their work. The easiest way to create a virtual wall is by wearing headphones. Not only do they stop employees from being drawn to the voices of other colleagues, they also act as a signal to prevent people from interrupting.
Set aside collaboration space
Employees spend all day at their desks so it helps to have designated meeting rooms or collaboration spaces where they can shift gears in a slight change of environment. Try changing the collaboration room to a standing room with standing desk and include a wall length whiteboard to encourage participation.
Now that you’re ready to set up your open plan office design, call in the team of office moving experts at Grace Business Services.