Ever since the minimalist open office movement of the 1950s, the open office set up has become popular amongst American businesses. Adopted from the German design, these layouts were meant to spur interaction and creativity between co-workers. What was once a perceived ‘fad’ has exploded in popularity after big companies in Silicon Valley began using the style.
The key point of the open office architecture revolves around the types of desks used and their positioning within the office space. Each system has advantages and disadvantages in the work place, but it is up to you to decide which matches your culture the best.
Benching style layouts are the most common setting when anyone thinks of an open office style layout. It features long rows of desks where employees all share long desk spaces with no walls or space separation. The purpose of this layout is to encourage office collaboration and spontaneously creativity.
If you have a start-up company where ideas are constantly being shared from one department to the other, a benching style set up may help by providing an open environment for all areas of the company to communicate on big projects together.
There is less of a break down when you have to email three separate departments to hear comments on a new marketing campaign idea. Instead, you can turn to the co-workers near you and discuss ideas quickly.
Without the temptation of distractions, employees can feel more focused and productive in this workspace. Workers feed off of each other’s energy and they have a sense of belonging, as the entire office works together to accomplish the same goals.
Desking office systems are often a more versatile way to organize the office, as you can group workers together in smaller clusters of work areas. While each of these work areas may be separate, the employees within each space will have easy access to one another.
This set-up works well for larger companies with big departments, where inter-department communication is key. With bigger groups of employees, it is more beneficial to encourage the collaboration within departments, leaving department heads to spread information company-wide.
Check out more desking and benching layouts, to see if one of these is right for your office.