For a few years now, it seems like every business has tried to jump on to the open office design bandwagon. Even organisations which are much better suited to closed-off working spaces have tried to take advantage of this new design feature, just because it's currently the popular choice.
However, more and more workers in open-office designs are resorting to headphones to try and block out the noise of the workplace. It might not always be effective, but it's a clear indicator to other employees that they don't want, or they don't have the time, to talk. There's even a rising trend where employees don't want to listen to music, but it's the only real way they can prevent other people from approaching and disturbing them.
That really leads us to ask the question – is open office design in London really the best choice for the average office space, or has the trend finally died off?
Of course, don't let that fool you. Designing an open-plan office can have some truly rewarding advantages for your business as a whole. For example, the lack of walls and other physical barriers in an open-plan design can make it much easier for employees to interact. In creative and largely collaborative industries, that can be a fantastic feature which will allow employees to work together and bounce ideas off of each other whenever they need.
It can also be a great way to improve office positivity and communication. Making it as easy as possible for your employees to talk to each other at work gives you the opportunity to foster friendships and can, in many ways, help to improve overall productivity.
Unfortunately, what makes the design strategy so beneficial for many businesses is the same as that which makes it a poor option for many more. With a lack of office partitioning, it's easy for employees to interact which can, at times, be extremely distracting. These office designs are usually much louder and can be distracting for anyone who prefers quiet working.
A lack of privacy is another huge problem in these environments. Computer screens are often visible to anyone in the room or passing by, which can make it difficult to deal with any private issues or sensitive information. There is a similar problem with telephone calls as well, as they can be easily overheard by anyone in the local area.
Open-plan office design in London is also much more likely to spread diseases and illnesses than their closed-off peers. Even the common cold can be spread extremely quickly through your workforce and result in multiple employees taking time off at the same time.
Here at Oaktree, we don't believe in creating a workspace with the goal of appearing 'trendy'. Instead, we work with your business to identify key features and essential design choices which can make a real difference to your business. We believe in creating workspaces which offer the benefits of open and closed off designs with none of the disadvantages.
By combining different design strategies within a single office, you can provide a range of different locations to allow your employees to work in the way that they feel most comfortable. If you're looking to reap the benefits of a truly comprehensive office design in London, get in touch with our professional team of refurbishment and fit-out experts today on 0845 474 3556.