The new millennium brought a new style of office to the U.S. that took off with many technology companies and startups. It’s what’s known as the “open concept” or “open work space”. However, after more than 15 years have passed, the effects of this workspace structure are now being evaluated.
What Exactly is an “Open-Concept” Office?
The open concept work space started in Germany decades ago, but it started to gain popularity in the United States around the year 2000. Companies like Google, Facebook, and eBay have all popularized this office layout. The idea behind it is to have an office space without cubicles, dividers or offices. Desk space would be open, where employees would be able to see other workers. The initial intention for this type of work environment was to encourage collaboration and a “team” environment among employees. By keeping the work space “open”, the hope was that this environment would keep communication and relationships between fellow coworkers open and friendly.
Downsides to the Open-Concept
One of the major goals that seemed to come out of the open concept office space was to create a place of employment that was fun and where employees wanted to come to work and were happy. While that may certainly be the case, there is one major flaw with the open concept. Thanks to a study of over 40,000 employees from over 300 companies with an open concept office space, it is very clear about one thing: the open office concept is killing productivity.
Productivity is an essential, key component to any successful business. You hire a certain amount of workforce with the expectation that you are getting 40 (or more) hours a week from your full-time employees. When this is gravely affected by countless interruptions, far too much socializing and “playtime”, the result can be disastrous. Even with an attempt to drown out potential noise distractions with headphones, it is impossible to avoid visual distractions that happen with the open concept office.
Another major downside to the open concept is chain of command and privacy. With the open floor design of the open concept, it is almost impossible to have privacy. Even if you went to another private office for a conversation, it can be difficult to do with all eyes looking up at you or noticing. Further, if you work in a shared office space with someone with whom you report to, this can often times become far too close or social of a relationship, making the supervisor to subordinate relationship challenging.
Evaluate Your Office Space
If you currently have an open concept office space, you may want to evaluate how the layout of your office is impacting worker productivity, as well as office morale. Take a look at how the layout may impact interruptions amongst employees and whether gossip or other conflicts within the office may potentially be resolved by being willing to give workers their own work space and begin to create a whole new working environment for you and your company.
If you are looking to open up your own office (or relocate to a new office space) and have been considering the open concept, you may wish to reconsider this type of office layout and its potential impact on your business.
Office Space in Los Angeles
If you are in the medical field and are looking to establish office space in Los Angeles, then look no further than Boulevard Medical Properties. Whether you want an open concept office, cubicles or private office space, we have assisted several practitioners in all areas of setting up their own dream office space. From expansion, lease negotiation, construction, and design, contact us today at (818) 882-5700 or you can also contact us online.