The Debate of the Open Plan Office – Is It For You?

What Are Open Plan Offices?

Open plan offices where everyone occupies the same large space, rather than lots of little rooms hiding behind doors, are sparking some debate among office workers across the world.

Are they a good solution for your company? That will probably depend on the nature of your business, how your team members like to work, and the importance of privacy, interaction, sharing ideas and technological resources to your team.

If perhaps you are looking into fitting out an open plan office, the guys at Supernova Building Services, can perform an open plan office fitout in Brisbane to suit your vision.

The Development of Open Plan Office Spaces

Open plan offices are far from a new phenomenon. In fact they were around before the 1950s, when rows of desks would house clerks and typists doing mainly repetitive work. This was largely inspired by Henry Ford’s models of industrial production.

Office furniture companies soon developed cubicles which dominated for a while, but as more knowledge-based work has involved increasing numbers of people moving into offices since the 1980s, a variety of open plan designs have taken hold today.

A quick walk around an average Australian office building today will reveal combinations of cubicles, open workstations, private offices, “pods”, group workstations and open, unassigned workstations being employed together.

Advantages of Going Open Plan

Some of the main advantages of open plan offices are as follows:

  • A better sense of community and equality in the workplace
  • Better ability to collaborate quickly and effectively on work projects
  • Better spontaneous idea generation and feedback
  • Greater flexibility – ability to house more staff as the company grows
  • It costs less per capita – especially if shared spaces are used more as mobile technology takes over and people spend less time at their desk

Disadvantages of Going Open Plan

  • All of the above can damage job satisfaction and potentially lead to higher staff turnover. So, depending on your team preferences, it’s worth considering this issue carefully before taking a unilateral decision to go open plan.High noise levels, which can reduce the ability to be productive
  • Reduced concentration levels, due to potential distractions
  • Increased chance of conflict or stress
  • Reduced privacy and confidentiality of information – particularly for legal, financial and health services companies

Fit Out Your Office with Us!

Supernova Building Services offer a one-stop shop for office fitouts. Our 13 years of experience helping leading Brisbane-based companies design their offices puts us in a great position to help you design yours. View our recent projects or for a professional consultation, call us now on 07 3268 7555.