Sunday, April 16, 2017

Does Open Office Environment Really Work in Business?

Open office environment has been talk of the town these days. If you visit offices of start-ups n Silicon Valley or even in well established companies the leaders are tearing down the walls of cubicles and putting up open desks. According to International Facility Management Association, nearly 70 percent of companies have open office environment.

The open offices take various shapes in different companies. Some have just long table and chairs along it so employees are sitting side by side. In other places they still keep the cubicle walls, but the height is reduced so that employees can see each other without having to get up. In some other offices you will also find open spaces where employees can gather to discuss.

Collaboration is the primary benefit being touted for creating open office environment. The argument is that when employees are sitting in close proximity without any walls they are able to have impromptu meetings and brainstorming sessions. This in turn leads to quick resolution or even new ideas. But the question is – does open office environment really work? There have been several studies done recently that make the case that it does not help. On the contrary it hurts employee productivity and even collaboration. According to the study conducted by Science Direct majority of 42,000 participants in their study were dissatisfied with the open offices.