Which is Better For Productivity: Cubicles or Open Space Offices?
Open office designs have been increasing in popularity over the past few decades. The idea behind open office design is that the open environment may encourage creativity and collaboration amongst workers. Which design approach is better for productivity: cubicles or open space offices?
One recent survey suggests that some offices may go too far with the open office design concept, actually hurting worker productivity in the process. The survey, by the architectural and design firm Gensler, found that only 24 percent of workers were excelling in job performance. The majority of workers were not functioning at their peak ability.
The Gensler study found that workplace designs that allow workers to both focus and collaborate are an essential foundation for productivity. In many office environments there may be an overemphasis on collaboration, but not enough emphasis on a worker’s need to focus. The trend in recent years has seen fewer focus areas included in office designs.
A single office design approach will not work for every organization in every industry. There is no “one size fits all” office design – whether open or cubicle. Various industries will have specific needs, as will particular organizations.
The business world has evolved in several important areas during recent decades. Office workers are frequently being asked to do more with less, while workers are also learning to deal with multiple new technological innovations (and distractions).
One option for organizations to consider is designing office space that supports both collaboration and focus. Designing office space in this way can allow workers to collaborate when appropriate, but can also allow the opportunity to focus when that is appropriate.
Recruiting the best talent is an important step in employee productivity. Workplace design, however, has the ability to influence productivity for better or worse. Appropriately designed spaces can facilitate both employee collaboration and focused work.
Image By – Cassy Binneman