In a search for enhanced productivity, facilitation of workflow, and improvement of employee collaboration numerous experts dedicated their time to the creation of ideal workplace design. Cubicles may have a positive impact on the overall productivity, however, the feeling of isolation and actual physical segregation from fellow coworkers are among the key factors why people react negatively to such job opportunities.
In the 1940s, open space offices were developed to provide a working environment for typists, secretaries, and other employees that were tasked with repetitive work. As time went by, this concept grew popular with companies that nurtured egalitarian culture or needed a centralized working environment for research and development purposes.
Although somewhat disputed among mainstream industry leaders, an open floor plan office concept provides a series of advantages, especially for those that search for their first job opportunity. In this article, we're going to inspect seven key advantages that come with shared office space in today's world.
Although communication and data sharing are nowadays easier than ever, online interaction demands resources like laptops, electricity, and internet connection. When people work on the same project, shared space means easier communication, which allows each employee to solve problems much faster and with the help of everyone present.
Consider your college days when you were working on an essay on your own, you needed a professional plagiarism scanner, proofreading software, and a series of research tools to make sure you did a good job. However, classroom projects and collaborative exams show that sharing a space with people you work with makes the entire endeavor much easier because we were able to communicate with our team, share ideas, and check our work for consistency.
For those who are looking for their first job, simplified collaboration can help reduce the chances of making any mistakes because you had nobody to ask for advice or you couldn't wait hours to get a reply to your email.
Building a profound professional relationship in any company depends on numerous factors, such as our personal traits, the people we work with, and the possibility for collaboration and interaction. We already mentioned cubicles as an example of an office layout that inspires self-isolation and individualism, such solutions force water coolers as places for socialization. On the other hand, open floor plan offices put everyone in the same room, disregarding of their position or project involvement.
Having your boss or team leader in the same working space helps to build a closer connection and reduces the anxiety and pressure when facing your superiors with a question or an issue you can't resolve on your own. It also helps to get closer with your peers and build mutual trust, as well as learning to whom you can turn to for assistance.
Sure enough, in case you need to really focus on a task, you can always place a “Don’t disturb” sign or clearly state that you need to be left on your own for a while. Otherwise, you can chat with your coworkers, talk about things you like, and build a friendly atmosphere from day one.
Acquiring office space costs a lot of money. Electricity, network, and utility infrastructure is costly, especially when it comes to adding more room for new people. This is where the open-plan office space brings out the best for both the company owner and the workforce. The business budget won’t suffer the strain of building a new office environment and employees have the chance to jump right in and get to know their part of the job directly from their peers.
Furthermore, when a company saves money on infrastructure, this leaves more room for investment in new projects or better wages. Also, there is a wide offer of shared workspace within the commercial real estate industry that allows different companies to share the same space. This is a great way to get spotted and move your career further if you feel it could be a good chance to grow as a professional.
The recent COVID 19 pandemic was one of the best examples of how important it is to think about employee health risks in the workspace. It's much easier to provide suggested social distance in an open space office than it would be in offices where people are usually boxed in and forced to work in close proximity.
Moreover, in most cases, a shared workplace environment features large windows that provide natural sunlight, which benefits both our eyes and our mental health status. The absence of walls, doors, and tight corridors allows the air to flow freely so the air-conditioning systems and filters could clear out the air and produce a healthy atmosphere.
Also, numerous scientific reports show that working in places with natural light, clear air, and wide, open space has a positive influence on people's ability to focus and productivity. Sitting in a chair, bent over a computer screen is bad for our wellbeing, unlike the chance to walk around and choose optimal positions according to our needs that we get in an open space office.
Walls are a great way to secure privacy, however, every company needs open and fluent teamwork, especially when it comes to working on several projects at once and different teams need to be formed by the same group of people. This is where open space layout comes handy the most because it allows people to move around, form their workgroups, and exchange information and resources according to the project.
Let’s say you’re working on the development of new software and you have different teams working together. As the project moves on, some team members could join in on different project tasks or jump in for a short while to help out with a portion of the project that needs more people. Simply put, you're not constrained by physical barriers and in case there's a need for additional features and changes, it's easier to change your environment if there are no fixed walls or corridors that need to be torn down or built from scratch.
Overcoming generation gap in the workplace is one of the most common challenges that employees can face, especially nowadays when the digital revolution demands bringing aboard fresh millennial blood. According to resources, the younger generation workforce is more open to shared workspace, especially when it comes to digital technology professionals.
This means that getting an offer for a job in a company that provides open floor plan office space means you’re more likely to get on board with people who share your views and working habits. Sharing space and working with people you can connect with usually makes the day at the office less stressful.
It's well known that many large companies were started by coworkers who shared ideas at the office. As an aspiring professional, it's always better to start your career working along with people who share the same goals and have the chance to communicate and collaborate without any interruptions.
For some people, personal office space is a sign of elitism, especially if this space is reserved for high-level management. Separating the company leaders from others might create a significant gap and also amplify the lack of trust between employees and their superiors. The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is one of the loudest spokespersons for open floor layout, so much so, that there isn’t a single closed office in the social media giant’s headquarters.
This type of office layout concept creates a sense of equality among employees, where everyone gets the same treatment and the same working conditions. This is also a good way to keep your eyes on the boss in the same measure as you’re being revealed to other spectators and show your motivation and initiative. Instead of being forced to run to your supervisor every time you have a great idea or finish a certain task, your effort is in plain sight for everyone to see.
When everyone enjoys equal treatment, the only thing that separates us is our own skillset.
One of the major disadvantages that rise up when we think about open floor plan workspace is the lack of privacy and silence while we’re trying to perform. However, it’s important to understand that this type of workplace is not intended for every industry and all sizes of business. Nevertheless, some of the most challenging tasks are being performed in shared environments like brain surgery and other medical treatments. Moreover, we know that digital technology giants are based on collaborative work within an open plan office space.
Therefore, considering the advantages we shared with you in this article, it’s easy to understand the benefits of this old, yet relapsing work concept, especially when it comes to those of us who are looking for a place to launch our career.
Stella Gary is a professional content writer and editor, engaged with numerous online publishers. Her goal is to develop articles that help aspiring professionals and college students figure out their first steps in the business world. As a writer, Stella aims to deliver practical pieces of advice, backed with authentic sources of information and ideas that can easily be applied in the real world.
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