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The Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan in a Modern Office Environment

open-office-space

The open-floor versus close-floor office layout debate is a hot topic, and it’s no wonder why: personal space is a, well, personal issue. If you’re thinking of making your office space in Arizona a cubicle-free zone, pay careful attention. Not every employee will feel comfortable or productive in an open floor plan.

The Good

An Arizona commercial office space with an open floor plan will see visible benefits when choosing to use this layout.

  • People are 20% more active when working in an open space. Without the cubicle walls to confine them to a small area, people feel more free to walk around and brainstorm. More movement = less stress.
  • Employees who work in an open space are less likely to waste time online or on their phone because their activities are visible.
  • Everyone can see who is putting in long hours at their desk, which makes it easier to know who deserves recognition for their extra work.

The Bad

Introverts working in an office space in Arizona most likely prefer the traditional closed layout.  Here’s why:

  • Exposure. Employees have no shield to shelter them from the social influx. The constant pressure to be “on” rapidly drains introverts mentally and physically.
  • It’s not just introverts who feel drained in an open floor plan; Extroverts eventually get fatigued as well. Without a cubicle or office wall to protect them, employees have no “me time” to recoup.
  • Many open floor offices see a huge decrease in meaningful face-to-face conversations thanks to the constant exposure. Likewise, the quality of their work goes down as well. Distractions, such as another team’s heated conversation or that one co-workers who snacks too loudly at their desk, will interrupt their concentration.

 

The Questionable

Just as every person is different, so is every office environment. Some effects of an open floor fall in neither good nor bad categories. While these side effects can either be a blessing or a curse, it all boils down to what you and your team make of them.

  • Depending on the volume level of your office space in Arizona, the noise can either amplify or hurt employee focus. The solution? Encourage the use of headphones to cancel out the distracting noise (or lack thereof).
  • Everyone is equal. Managers are easily accessible now that they aren’t locked away behind office walls. Employees feel more comfortable dropping by a higher-up’s desk to ask for guidance. While this may be a boost for the lower/entry level employees, some managers may not feel as motivated without the reward of their own office.
  • Less barriers mean more light (especially in a sunny Arizona commercial office space), physical activity, and air circulation… which also means more germs. Colds can spread at a much faster rate through an open space. Our advice: keep hand sanitizer accessible and make sure sick employees stay at home.

Does your office space in Arizona have an open floor plan? Do you include employees’ opinion when it comes to a new office design? Let us know in your experience how an office layout affects your employees on our LinkedIn page.

 

 

Photo source: https://unsplash.com/photos/U2BI3GMnSSE

     

As dedicated commercial real estate professionals, all of us at Camroad Properties pride ourselves on operating office buildings to the highest industry standards. This translates into consistently high occupancy rates, and tenant retention rates averaging over 80% in all of our Arizona commercial real estate properties. As local owner-operators, you can rely on Camroad Properties to provide the best leasing opportunities for quality office space in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tempe. Our knowledge of Arizona commercial real estate and our ability to react promptly to our clients' office space requirements is our specialty. We can customize office suites to fit any of your commercial real estate needs.
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