The benefits (and challenges) of an open plan office

Do you work in an open plan office? How do you find it? We at Clearhead have always worked in an open plan office and the benefits are vast. However, before you start ripping down your walls there are a number of different factors to consider.

Are you ok with noise?

When you have your own little corner of the office, or indeed your own walled office, then you can control the noise. However, with an open plan office, there is very little control you can have. You rely on other colleagues to be considerate to yourself. If you want atmosphere and a real togetherness however, then the open plan office can really help.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Another aspect is the confidentiality. There isn’t a lot! So you need to factor some sort of space, or seating area. As such have you got space to be able to provide this? You also need to think about your private documents being on the show. So having a lockable space is very important.

Team Meetings

When it comes to collaboration then an open plan office can really help. If you have any issues or you need any help with finding solutions to problems, then to be able to have an open discussion about it can add real benefits.

Hierarchy

An open plan office can really help to have a feeling of togetherness, regardless of seniority. If you get everyone sitting on the same table, regardless of their role (and obviously the size of your company) it can make everyone feel that they are all working towards the same cause and everyone is chipping in. It can be especially good for creative idea generation.

Breaking the Norm

Even though open-plan offices are stereotypically ‘creative’ leaning workplaces, actually we think the larger benefit comes from sectors who are possibly more traditional. Creativity should enter the thinking of all employees regardless. It can help with innovation, it can help to nurture great ideas and it can be a way to ensure that these ideas are implemented quickly.

So what do you think? Let us know how both open-plan offices and more segregated office spaces work for you. We are just about to move into a huge open plan office in our hometown of Luton. Keep in touch to check out the pictures as it develops.