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Things To Consider When Planning An Open Plan Office

Open plan offices have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. When considering whether to opt for a closed or open plan office, the question you really have to ask yourself is ‘which set-up would work best for me and my team?’

That’s precisely the question we’ll help you answer in this article. But first, let’s weigh up the pros and cons of an open plan office.

The good

  • Colleagues are more likely to collaborate with each other and share ideas, as they’re all in the same room
  • Open plan offices are cheaper to construct
  • Employees can be more efficient, as they don’t have to visit other rooms to pass messages on or issue tasks

The not-so-good

  • Privacy is compromised; everyone in the office can hear your conversations easily
  • The cacophony of noise - particularly in larger businesses - can be distracting
  • These two factors combined often mean stress levels are higher in open plan offices

If you’re considering or planning an open plan office, here are three key factors to consider:

What kind of team do you have?

First, think carefully about the kind of team you have and their roles and responsibilities. Are they a creative bunch who thrive on collaboration, or do they need a quiet, private space to analyse documents, make important phone calls, or have confidential conversations with clients? If they fall into the latter category, an open plan office might not work for them.

How much do they collaborate - and how much would you like them to?

Do you think your business could be improved if staff were more eager to communicate and share ideas with one another? If the answer is yes, then an open plan office may be the way forward. Equally though, if you manage a number of different teams - some of which need to concentrate on tasks in quiet or need to be on the phone all day - you might run into problems with controlling the noise levels. That’s where sound masking can come in handy.

What level of privacy do they need?

If your employees still need a degree of privacy but want to be able to communicate effortlessly and work closely together, an open plan office with sound masking may be the perfect solution. This clever system - which involves small speakers being placed around the office in strategic locations - produces subtle ambient sounds which match the frequency of human speech. The result? Conversations and unwanted, distracting noises are less audible, boosting privacy and allowing employees to focus on their work.

If this sounds like an ideal solution for your workplace, contact us today to learn more or book a demonstration.

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