I am part of that generation Y that is different from previous ones and has special needs about a company. A generation that is not loyal to one company all his life and who likes to have fun at work. We like to build a good relationship with our colleagues and a dynamic team will be as important to us as good working conditions. In a professional environment, there may be a clash between the needs of our generation and previous generations who were used to working in the quiet of a closed office. Working in open space, it’s not quite like working alone in an office. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this system.
Several companies are wondering if they should opt or not for an open plan office. They hesitate, especially about the noise, loss of time and difficulty of concentrating for employees. Personally, I find that there are many advantages to working in an open office concept for a
Building a strong team spirit
One aspect that is very important for me, is the teamwork. Always working nearby, we got to know each other very quickly by talking together while working on our projects. Such an arrangement also encourages spontaneity in our discussions and help us to build a relationship of trust between team members.
In addition, it has enabled us to more quickly integrate new employees to the rest of the team. In an environment where the offices are closed, people often feel less comfortable to share and chat with others, which ensures that integration is more difficult and longer.
For many people, loyalty to their company is strongly linked to the appreciation and the relationship built with co-workers. Open space working could therefore promote employee loyalty to the company.
Ability to work in a team
In a web marketing agency, we are often called upon to work with different teams within the agency. An open environment promotes exchanges and it improves the collective knowledge because even people who are not involved are in the discussions.
In addition, it allows us to have an outside look on projects and propose possible solutions that the person would not necessarily have considered. Everyone is therefore a Winner: the team members and customers.
For us, sending emails and planning meetings three days in advance is time consuming, we have only to look up to ask questions and discuss projects. This allows us to be flexible and avoid wasting time waiting for answers from our colleagues.
In an open concept, everyone knows what is going on in the office, there is a lot of transparency on the part of management and among employees. Since this is an important value for your business, it is something which is highly appreciated by all.
To sum up lets take a look what are the main advantages and disadvantages to work in open space and how this can affect your team performance and work process.
Benefits of open space working
If more and more companies are adopting the open space, it is primarily to save space and make their square meters profitable, especially in all major cities. This arrangement makes it possible to save between 10 and 40% surface.
Proponents of open office recognize the following benefits:
- Saving space
- Ease of use in everyday life
- Better communication (speed and ease of trade)
- Improved responsiveness
Disadvantages of open space working
If the company is has generous area space, it is not always making life easy for employees. According to a poll conducted, 51% of employees suffer from open space working conditions, especially noise.
The layout of the work space is controversial because it has several drawbacks, some of them are:
- It is noisy in poor soundproofing (telephone calls, whereabouts)
- The lack of privacy
- It gives the feeling of being watched by colleagues
- It interferes with concentration and reduces productivity
- It gives each employee a small “living space” (8 square meters on average) and is more impersonal.
- According to critics, the open-space is an additional stress factor for employees because it facilitates monitoring and a competitional element between employees.
So open space working has its advantages and disadvantages. In the end, working in such offices requires discipline and respect for colleagues. This implies, for example, some employees don’t “invade” the space of others and not to talk too much.
Some companies also find solutions
- Density limited to ten people per office
- Meeting rooms and small box rooms for individual appointments and personal calls
- Soundproofed and well-appointed (with storage, furniture and movable partitions)
- Good air conditioning
- Good lighting
- Common rules of life
Despite the advantages that I have observed to work in an open office, some people find it hard to concentrate because of higher noise than in a closed office. The solution we have right now is to use headphones that cut the ambient sound for better focus.
We also need to show a lot of respect for our colleagues, which has strengthened our team spirit.
For agencies and teams that must work closely, I am convinced that open office is a good solution, though, it is perhaps not for all types of jobs. The massive development of open space sometimes benefits neither the company nor the employee. One loses performance due to lack of a decline in productivity, the other loses motivation and increases fatigue and stress at a time when customer service and relationships are important.
Feel free to share what do you think about working in open office.
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