In the world of office design, one particular layout has taken the office world by storm: the open office. It’s a response to so much of the negative feedback and feelings surrounding the cubicle farms that are found in so many office spaces, and it provides essentially the opposite. Open offices are are, in fact, just that; open. Everyone can see everyone, there are no barriers, and the private offices that signified hierachy are limited, if even present at all. While there are many benefits to open offices, there are, of course, still a few negatives.
Below we've listed some of the pros and cons of an open office:
1. Everyone is on the same level: As stated above, hierarchy isn’t so apparent in open offices, instead having directors and interns work in the same area – maybe even sitting next to each other. This helps to keep employees feeling appreciated no matter their status, and it also keeps all accountable.
2. Collaboration is easy: no need to instill an open door policy as their typically are no doors in existence. It’s easy to collaborate with others without leaving your desk. Gone are intimidating barriers.
3. More Interesting Than Walls: A common complaint of workers in cubicles is that they have only blank walls surrounding them, leaving them feeling a bit trapped. In an open office, this simply isn’t a problem.
1. Lack of privacy: Privacy is trickier to come by in a completely open office, unless spaces are created specifically for it. Everyone can see and hear everyone all of the time, making it a necessity to take personal calls outside.
2. Germs spread faster: while having no physical barriers helps for better communication, it has also been show to better spur on the spread of germs.
3. More Distractions: With no walls and a totally open space, there can many noises and sights that are distracting to every worker, including coworkers chatting to each other or taking a call on the phone. It can be tricky for many to work through these distractions.