Clash Of The Coworkers: How To Rethink Your Open Plan Office

Many of today’s modern office spaces have what we call “open plan” layouts. In a nutshell, they have dispensed with the traditional design where each person or team would have a traditional office with a door, and closed off from other individuals and groups. Instead, everyone works together in one big room or area.

As you can appreciate, open plan layouts are attractive because they allow teams to communicate with each other better. However, there are some downsides to some open plan layouts. For example, noise levels can increase, and some people will find it hard to concentrate. Plus, there’s also privacy concerns to contend with.

If your open plan office suffers from those or other issues, you might think that such a layout isn’t for you. But, the good news is that you can resolve your problems by making some slight changes or additions. Here are a few examples of what you can do to make your open plan office more productive, inviting, and efficient:

Image Obtained From Flickr

Use the same furniture for each cubicle

Is your open plan office a mish-mash of different styles of desks, chairs and other office items? If so, that could be part of your problem. Some of your workers may find it hard to work at desks that are too small or narrow, for instance. And others may have too much space!

One strategy to follow is removing your existing cubicles and furniture and opting for a more uniform approach. Look at sites like Arnold’s Office Furniture for some inspiration on the cubicles and furniture that work well with your particular office setup.

Make use of plants

Why do you often see plants in today’s modern offices? The answer is simple: they are cheap to buy and maintain, plus they serve a multitude of purposes! For a start, they break up an otherwise standard-looking office design.

They can also serve as a barrier of sorts to divide up an open plan office into specific areas. And, finally, they help to improve air quality and increase productivity. The latter was even proven in a scientific study on the subject!

Image Obtained From Flickr

Use the right colors

It might shock you to learn that not all offices get painted with white or magnolia colors, nor do they feature gray carpet tiles! Color can impact how we think and feel in our lives, and we can use it to convey the right message to office workers.

You also need to consider which colors work well with your particular business. For instance, an investment company might not want a kaleidoscope of colors and abstract art adorning the office space. And a technology startup might find a corporate color scheme doesn’t appeal to staff and visitors alike.

Keep it bare

“Less is more” is an approach that works for a variety of modern open plan offices. If your working environment is full of stuff, keep the clutter to a minimum. You might even wish to expose bare brickwork on the walls or steel beams in the ceiling. It gives workers the impression they are working in an area bigger than it is. Plus, it makes the look and feel of the office more attractive.

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