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What makes an open plan space successful?

Nov. 13, 2018

What makes an open plan space successful?

In the recent years, a lot has been said against open-plan spaces and it can be summarized in one sentence: they reduce productivity while making its users unhappy. But most of the research that comes to this conclusion, has been conducted on traditional offices from the US: Wall Street Style offices who accommodate a lot of people in narrowed spaces, seeking for cost optimization rather than productivity or wellbeing.

Despite this context, we have identified certain elements who contradict that conclusion and even derives on techniques for being successful at adopting open office spaces, even when seeking for costs optimizations.

Enough space. There must be a minimum workstation area assigned to each employee. Also, there must be an adequate distance between workstations, where its impact on user’s perception of privacy and personal space is relevant.

Privacy compensation. If you take privacy off a space, you must compensate. People need confidentiality and silence sometimes, but they don’t need to be in their workstations. Phone booths and concentration areas are great strategies por keeping isolated private zones, in an open space.

Leisure Spaces. An open-plan space is about collaboration and wellbeing. A playroom or a leisure space, will boost people’s happiness, as well as their belonging to the company.

Meeting Rooms and spaces. A lot! Mind blowing ideas come seldom from a single mind. Meeting rooms and casual spaces can fuel team work and knowledge sharing.

Change Management Strategy. If you come from a closed space to an open one, nothing will change unless you make a serious intervention on your company culture to ensure an appropriate use of the space.

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