Do Open Plan Offices Make employees Happier?
For many years open-plan offices were the go-to layout if success and growth were in your vision. However, over time the open plan has lost its lustre. What happened to the research backing open plan layout. An open plan office promised to improve employee collaboration, retention and cross-functional co-operation as well as boosting creativity and innovation.
When implemented in practice though, the open plan layout did not deliver the results promised, in most cases. The Harvard Business Review found that open plan layouts were only successful at achieving the potential benefits if employees identified with the space.
Open Plan Office Furniture
They found that two elements could predict whether open plan layouts would have the desired effect in relation to company goals:
1. Identifying with the company and the space.
Conveying the vision of a collaborative environment that enables cross-functional employees to interact so they can resolve problems faster in a more innovative way. A key element for success, according to HBR is making sure that all your employees are on board with your vision and that your space is built to promote this.
2. Flexibility to allow employees to customise the space.
Some employees may feel that they do not have enough privacy in an open plan layout, this is why it's important to make sure that you also provide spaces for private conversations and one-to-one collaboration. Private meeting spaces in the form of cubicles or sound-controlled seating provide that extra privacy required. Allowing employees to customise their environment is also key to success.