The original idea of open space office is designed back in 1950 by a team in Hamburg, who thought that this would ease communication between employees.
Today, about 70% of all working areas adopted this trend, so we assume that it works. But some of the results indicate different. We analyze the problems and advantages – whether open space functions and why some employees still hide behind partitions.
The concept that breaks down the walls in today’s workspaces: Open space office should improve workflow and communication. Sounds reasonable? Maybe not.
One article notes that the modern agencies accepted this concept and as advantages they state better communication, collaboration and speed of work and for this reason they suggest to tear down barriers and walls. They also point out that leaders of agencies see positive benefits and increased productivity as a result of this.
But what happens to the privacy and confidential telephone conversations and so on?
1. There is no productivity and satisfaction for employees, because of the lack of privacy.
2. There is no space which is really just for them.
3. Different ways of working are not shown and are not recognized.
4. Creativity is forced, because all eyes are on you, and whether this is a good solution?
Employees have complained that they feel too exposed, combined with too much noise, they are not enough concentrated. Because everyone has its own rhythm. People come to work in in a different time, take a break at different times, want to socialize at different times and are most productive in different periods of the day. Job of management is to adjust all of this and create a space where all these conflicts reconcile.
Everyone seems to have rushed to tear down all the walls in workplaces, but now they want to return some of them. Modern offices are trying to achieve the golden middle through design, without returning all walls. For that reason there is a new concept that has been created in order to find the golden middle. For that reason a new concept has been created.
For example, one Microsoft team decided to have closed and private offices, and when employees needs to cooperate, they just meet in the hallway where they have conversations. When they finish, everybody returns back to their privacy.
On the other hand, instead of the employees meet in the hallways, there are new office concepts that combine comfortable space where employees can sit together and collaborate. This concept is balanced with private telephone rooms and closed spaces for meetings. Indeed, it seems that some walls are essential to modern offices.
Despite all the ups and downs, the trend of open office space, seems to be present in one or another concept.
Those who are currently working in open space offices have learned that it is not always easy, safe and pleasant to work in open space and that everyone looks for a workspace, where they will be able to think, where they do not listen to colleague across the way that phone calls and the like.
Also, it is sometimes necessary for people to meet and work together, so they could come up with solutions and perform a task easier and better, and this certainly requires a common area. Cooperation is sometimes necessary in business, because the more people, the more skills and ways of thinking.
Yes, this trend will probably remain forever, but some partitions are indeed necessary.