When Google and other corporate giants decided to implement an open office setting, instead of traditional private offices and cubicles, 70% of the American workforce followed the trend, according to experts. However, some people believe this trend is an epic fail. The Washington Post published that “Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace. Workplaces need more walls, not fewer.”
Apparently, employees who work in an open office environment are more likely to experience job dissatisfaction. Plus, privacy is a major concern (there is none). Finding a quiet moment to make phone calls to clients or to concentrate on individual tasks can be challenging. This can have a negative impact on productivity.
However, a company with a traditional office setting can be expensive because it requires more square footage to accommodate cubicles and walls for offices. Plus, employees are less likely to engage with one another and share ideas. Some people even feel isolated when they work behind four walls all day. This can also have a significant impact on productivity.
Whether it’s cubicles or an open office setting, both layouts have advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few more to consider.
There have been studies that have proven that an open office can actually boost a person’s energy levels and improve productivity. Mainly, because it gives employees the opportunity to engage with each other and brainstorm ideas. This increases motivation and creates buzz.
An open office is more affordable, especially for new construction. When it comes to design, you save money. With a traditional office, you have to budget for constructing extra space (walls, doors, etc) for each individual.
A traditional office space is more expensive to cool and to heat. An open office is a lot easier to distribute light and airflow.
Open office furniture is ideal for large, open spaces. For example, standing desks take up less space compared to traditional furniture, they also promotes good health. Sitting at a standard desk and chair all day can put pressure on the lower back. Standing up regularly is healthier for the body.
Working in an office that has cubicles and private offices improves employee satisfaction because it gives a sense of ownership. Another obvious reason is that it gives the employee more privacy. They also experience fewer distractions.
In an open office setting, employees not only get a chance to collaborate and share ideas, they also share germs. Employees who work in a traditional office setting, are less likely to get sick and call off from work. Employees in an open setting are more likely to take more sick days, according to the National Center for Biotechnology.
Cubicle spaces allows you to store shelves to hold supplies, files, and work manuals. Employees can also pin notes, important reminders and other materials on their walls. Take a look at our cubicles and other office workstations.
The bottom line is, an open office and traditional office with cubicles and private offices will always have its advantages and disadvantages. The key is to design or restructure an existing office space that’s ergonomically friendly and comfortable for your employees to work.