Workplaces have moved far away from the days of cubicle-laden, gray-patterned interiors and are pushing towards creating a more collaborative environment.
Now, open office plans have become a staple in office design as it promises to help with productivity, workers’ health, and offers more flexibility. Despite this, a study by Harvard Business School found that 70% of employees actually spend less time in face-to-face interactions in these environments. Many open-plan workers also expressed dissatisfaction with their lack of privacy and increased distractions in these spaces.
Still, some small business owners say open offices are still beneficial to their businesses.
“The benefit of our open area is being able to share knowledge and creative insights to our work, talk through problems or frustrations, and share laughs, trust, and bonding among our team,” said Sandy Smith, president of public relations firm Smith Publicity Inc. “When we expanded our offices a few years back, we asked our team, and they opted for and helped design an open space without dividing walls.”
Smith did admit that there have been a few drawbacks to the open plan, but says its benefits of camaraderie and teamwork outweigh them all.