Advantages and disadvantages of an open space arrangement

With the emergence of large international corporations, open space has become trendy. What is it anyway? Open space is simply one way to arrange and organize office space, which is the complete opposite of offices separated by walls. Are you wondering if it is worth investing in this trend? Open office space has both its supporters and opponents, so be sure to read the advantages and disadvantages of this solution before making your decision.

Advantages of open space

Lower rental and operating costs, easier communication between employees, and emphasizing employees’ equality are the most important advantages of open space office spaces. Office space in a good location can be expensive, so it is worth looking for solutions that reduce office operating costs.

  • Save space and money
    Arranging individual offices is time-consuming and costly. Even the smallest office must be equipped with furniture, and in addition, you should also take care of lighting, air conditioning, heating, ventilation, and painting the walls. In an open space, even several dozen people can work in one room, for whom we must provide furniture and equipment. Everything else is shared, which allows you to reduce expenses significantly.
  • Creativity, communication, and team-building
    Employees locked in rooms for 8 hours usually see each other only during breaks, and due to the distance between them, they arrange their duties by phone. It is completely different in the case of open space. An office with an open space promotes communication, shortens the distance between employees, and allows you to build relationships. What’s more, such a solution is conducive to brainstorming, which affects the team’s creativity.
  • Equality in the team
    Since the open space office offers the same space for everyone, the hierarchy of workstations does not apply here. The only exception that many companies use is the separation of separate offices for managers. In most cases, however, these offices have glass walls, thanks to which the impression of isolation is not created.

Disadvantages of open space

Open space office raises a lot of controversies, especially nowadays, when there is a lot of talk about maintaining social distance. Open space is also not a favorite form of employee arrangement with introverted personalities who work best in silence. What else are the opponents of this solution complaining about?

  • Noise and concentration problems
    Working hand in hand with colleagues can be frustrating for those who work best alone and need a lot of space. If the office is not well soundproofed, employees are exposed to constant noise and listen to colleagues’ conversations – often on private matters. How to mute an open space? The solution can be mobile partitions, which absorb sounds and give you some privacy.
  • More frequent sick leaves
    It is much easier to get infected in an open space office than in offices separated by walls. So if one person comes to work sick, there is a high probability that half of the employees will soon need a sick leave. However, there are effective ways to deal with this problem. One of them is a thermal imaging camera that detects people with a fever at the entrance to the office, so you can immediately send an employee home (e.g., to work remotely). Another option is a good air purifier that removes pathogenic microbes. It would be best if you also remembered to ventilate the office frequently.
  • Lack of privacy
    People working in open space offices often report that they feel watched, which in turn lowers their productivity. While openness and good communication skills are desirable traits of employers, many great employees have an introverted personality, which means that they work more efficiently in silence and solitude. It is worth taking care of such people’s needs and planning the so-called quiet zones that allow individual work. To reduce the stress level, you can also introduce the possibility of remote work.