When offices started embracing open office spaces by tearing down cubicles, the hope was to push a more collaborative, productive atmosphere. By 2010, almost 70% of office workers worked in a space with no walls or low walls.
But as research shows, employees are not fans of the open office model. With little to no privacy, it is difficult to be productive in a noisy space.
These spaces do not necessarily harvest good collaboration either. A study by Harvard University’s business school found that open offices reduce face-to-face interaction by 70% and increase email and messaging by 50%.
Despite this, open plans continue to take the office design world by storm. A CBRE research titled The Asia Pacific Occupier Survey 2018 found that 45% corporate real estate executives plans to increase their corporate real estate portfolios in coworking spaces to promote innovation and creativity.
Now, workers are aiming for positions that allow them to work from anywhere at anytime. Being able to simply trust that employees are being productive when working remotely can be a challenge, but one way to ensure this is having management teams lead by example.
“The evolution towards more agile workplaces means that a big driver for modern workplace design is the facilitation of collaboration across teams, locations and even countries,” said Amanda Stanaway, principal of global architecture firm Woods Bagot. “Clients also prioritize ease of communication between workers and integration with technology – asking designers to find ways to prompt workers to engage with spaces intuitively as well as providing multiple settings for teamwork.”