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Home»Blog»What is an Open Space office? Its advantages and disadvantages

Open space is a common type of office space layout, assuming a general arrangement of desktops in the room (without explicit zoning). This kind of workspace organization was first used in American offices in the 1960s. The author of the idea was the architect Denk Duffy. He united all employees of the company in a large room and allocated a separate office for the head. Other companies liked this layout and began to switch to it en masse.

Small partitions are the only restrictions that can be found in Open Space offices. This layout is extremely popular in Western countries. Ukrainian companies are gradually switching over to it. Because they see the obvious advantages of such a convenient way of organizing the workspace.

Benefits of Open Space offices

офисы Open Space

Being in such premises increases the level of communication skills of the staff. To solve the working moment, it is enough to turn to a specialist colleague sitting next to or nearby. It is much more convenient than looking for an employee in all offices. It takes time. The issue takes longer to resolve. Employee efficiency is dropping. Therefore, it is better to be in the same room and to overcome the arising work difficulties faster. Other advantages of Open Space layout:

  • It allows you to fit a lot more employees than a regular office.
  • Helps to remove psychological barriers between clerks. Regular communication during work frees people up and makes them more open.
  • Allows you to save on furniture arrangement and staff location. For a young, growing company, it is imperative to reduce operating costs.
  • Simplifies the process of monitoring the labor activity of personnel. The manager can observe all employees at once.
  • Eliminates the spread of gossip.
  • Accelerates the onboarding of a new employee. He quickly joins the general flow and establishes good communication with colleagues (this also applies to introverts).
  • Helps all employees stay in the loop at all times. They come to understand what exactly the company is moving towards and what methods it uses to achieve its goals.
  • Perfect for a staff that performs daily routine work - making so-called cold calls, processing large amounts of data, accepting requests from customers. At the same time, people of creative professions and persons whose work activities are associated with solving difficult mental tasks will not be able to work productively in the layout of Open Space.

Open Space offices in Kiev can have different zoning - a place for collective work, a project area for a small focus group, a negotiation area.

Disadvantages of open-plan offices

There are many companies in Ukraine that are in no hurry to say goodbye to the office layout and switch to Open Space. This is due to the fact that the open plan has several disadvantages. For example, it excludes the employee's personal space. Even being with the most friendly team, I want to retire for a short period of time (such is the nature of man). Other disadvantages of Open Space:

  • noise is highly distracting (employees talking on the phone, working on the keyboard, the functioning of office equipment, etc.);
    disagreements between colleagues can easily arise;
  • the risk of contracting a virus or infection increases due to close communication with employees;
  • the ability to memorize a large amount of information decreases (due to distractions);
  • for some employees, a beautiful view from the window is not available during the entire working day;
  • it is difficult to create equally good working conditions for all staff;
  • it is necessary to constantly coordinate with colleagues the mode of using office equipment.

Therefore, as an employer, you should take your time to weigh the pros and cons of such an innovative layout.

How not to lose efficiency in Open Space?

If you organize the work correctly, you will be able to avoid a general drop in efficiency. How to do it? For example, you shouldn't create one single space. It is imperative to zone it with the help of the correct arrangement of furniture, rational selection of colors, the correct location of lighting fixtures and the installation of small partitions.

The solution to visually highlight the negotiation or project area can also help to maintain efficiency. In it, you will be able to take an important call and calmly communicate with colleagues on the topic of the project entrusted by the boss.

The open-plan office interior is also of great importance. It should not be colorful, too bright and clumsy. Employees will be distracted by this design. But live plants are a great option. They will increase the productivity of your staff and delight you with their beauty throughout the entire working day.

In order not to lose efficiency, remember to place office equipment away from work areas. Then their intensive work will not distract your employees from important matters.

Open Space Office Code of Conduct

In this article, we have already talked about the disadvantages of an open plan. As it turned out, there are a lot of them. It will not be possible to get rid of them, but due to the correct behavior of the employees, it will be possible to minimize these shortcomings.

First, make a list of personnel requirements and general rules. Test their effectiveness in practice and start gradually introducing them into the work of your staff. This will discipline each employee, reduce divisions within the team, and create an environment ideal for constructive, creative activities. Types of possible rules for open-plan office staff:

  • Personal issues should be resolved over the phone in the meeting or dining area so that colleagues are not distracted.
  • Buy earplugs so you can focus on your work.
  • Listen to music and watch videos with headphones.
  • Don't talk too loudly.
  • Do not use strong perfume when preparing to leave go to work.
  • Take food strictly in the dining area.
  • Set the phone to vibration or to a quiet ring so that the melody does not distract colleagues.

The clauses of the rules may be different. They can be added or changed based on a collegial decision. The presence of such norms is required if you want to neutralize all the disadvantages of the Open Space layout.

Frequent mistakes in organizing an office like Open Space

An open-plan office is perfect for your company if everything is organized correctly. Many people make mistakes at this stage. They do not create areas for informal communication between employees. The constant atmosphere of officialdom tires and irritates the clerks. They need to communicate with each other on abstract topics so that the brain can rest. Other popular mistakes in office organization:

  • the ventilation system is not well thought out (the room is constantly stuffy);
  • there is no smoking area (by the way, designer Artemy Lebedev easily solved this problem for his Open Space office - he allowed workers to smoke in the workplace, explaining this by the fact that people spend a lot of time going to the smoking room);
  • there is no way to control the air conditioning and heating system;
  • the presence of noisy office equipment in the office;
  • the lighting is not fully thought out (somewhere lighter, somewhere darker);
  • visual design is irrational;
  • departments are combined incorrectly;
  • the presence of a feeling of piling up due to the high density of the location of workplaces;

Another mistake is incorrect table layout. This makes it difficult for employees to move around an open-plan office.

How to organize Open Space correctly?

There should be bright and rich light throughout the room. Be sure to use original color schemes in order to emphasize the corporate identity of the company. Feel free to divide the available space into zones, this will positively affect the work process.

Allow employees to control the parameters of the system that are responsible for the microclimate in the office. To do this, buy control panels, thermostats, openable windows, individual diffusers, fans with several operating modes.

Consider the location of stationary or mobile partitions. Place noisy departments far from each other. Create conditions for convenient storage of documents. Take care of the visual design of the room.

Don't know how to rent an Open Space office in Kiev? Our professional consulting company will help you.

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