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Open Concept Offices: Are They Good for Employees?

Jodi Young - Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Pros & Cons of Open Concept Work Spaces

There has been a lot of talk lately about how open concept offices are transforming the work place for the better. Open concept workplaces can be great, they maximize the amount of space a company has, they facilitate better communication, and they make it easy to get groups of people together for informal meetings and discussions. But what about the drawback of open concept work spaces?

After a lot of research the results of employee opinions of completely open concept work places are not entirely positive. Many employees feel that they have less privacy in open concept work places making them uncomfortable in certain situations thinking their co-workers can hear and see everything they are doing. Some also reported that it can lead to less focus due to the many distractions around them. Sound is a huge one, how are you supposed to get that report done when your co-worker is trying to make a sale right beside you? Sometimes employees don’t get along and that is ok but open concept environments can increase employee problems due to people not being able to escape when they are over whelmed, annoyed, or frustrated.

 We aren’t saying that offices shouldn’t convert to open concept work places but we are saying people should listen to their employees. Give them privacy with dividers between cubicles, have noise and music restrictions and give people head phones, and have spaces in the office where they can go and focus on their work in private if they need to. This will give employees the best of both worlds and increase employee satisfaction in the workplace!

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