Open office setups get a lot of praise, but most of the rave reviews aren’t entirely correct. Not everyone thrives when working in a large open space. Sure, open office plans can boost morale and increase productivity for some people. But private work spaces have several benefits too.
Provides Alone Time Needed for Important Tasks
Open office spaces with large conference rooms are great for collaboration. But what about employees working on solo projects or those working on important tasks? You should try your best to give them a private place to work. It’s a lot easier to make sense of your thoughts without a bunch of background noise.
It’s especially important for company executives to have private offices. Typically, these are the employees who really need to focus on specific tasks. Many require some alone time for deep thinking sessions. And if the space isn’t provided, they don’t seek it out.
If you don’t have enough space for all of your higher-ups to have their own office, consider allowing each of them a set amount of time every month to work in the private work areas you do have available. For example, if your office has six executives and you only have three private offices. You could assign two people to one office and make a schedule that allows each person exclusive access to the office every month. During their alone time, the other person occupying the office might work in a conference room or attend to tasks that require them to work closely with others.
Helps Reduce Stress and Eliminate Distractions
Are all of your employees really happy working in an open office setting? A lot of people actually find it stressful and distracting. The problem is, with an open office plan, there’s always so much going on around you — other people talking, walking by you, or trying to talk to you. Some people have a hard time tuning it all out to focus on their work.
To meet all of your employees’ needs, consider designing a hybrid work environment that has open space for cubicles and designated "quiet areas" for anyone who prefers to work solo. Your quiet work area could even be a large open conference room that multiple employees use as long as they understand that they have to remain quiet in that space.
Encourages More Meaningful Informal Communication Between Coworkers
Open office environments do encourage communication between team members and managers. But employees who work in private spaces typically have more meaningful conversations with their coworkers.
Think about it. Would you be comfortable discussing something private with a coworker in a place where practically everyone has an opportunity to eavesdrop? Probably not. This doesn’t mean every single employee needs their own office. Instead, consider creating private nooks for employees to use when they need to have a private conversation or make a personal phone call.
You don’t need to completely renovate your office to create private areas for your employees. Instead, consider redecorating your office and moving some things around so you have a space that’s a bit more flexible and fits all of your employees’ needs.