Flexible Office Plans vs. Open Plan Concepts

The concept of an open plan workplace became popular in the 80’s and 90’s where many offices comprised of dozens of cubes, divided only by partitions. Open plan has come a long way since then but there are some issues that come with only having communal areas in the workplace. The trick is to strike a balance between open plan and private space.

The problem with the open plan concept

The issue with adopting a solely open plan workplace is that it doesn’t take into consideration the varying work styles employees have. While some people enjoy the constant interaction and noise that comes with a solely open plan set up, for others it can make it very hard to concentrate and get work done. Also, a fully communal area with no private areas means that privacy is almost impossible and it’s hard to block out the stimulus that comes from a busy workplace.

Although open plan encourages collaboration, when a deadline is looming or a worker simply wants to concentrate, the constant interruptions from other colleagues can be a major source of angst. Indeed, many workers turn to putting in earphones without music playing in an attempt to show that they don’t want to be approached.

Finding the balance with a flexible office plan

The key to creating a functional workplace is to adopt a flexible approach where private area workstations are intermixed with open plan. Open plan provides great opportunities for interaction and collaboration while private spaces mean that employees have the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle.

The flexible office plan allows for small, private rooms for phone calls, meeting rooms for smaller group discussions or meetings and offices where employees can go to escape the noise if they need to. These are some examples of private areas which can be incorporated into the workplace.

Of course, the layout of your workplace furniture depends on the specific needs of your business but a flexible approach means that you can get the balance right between the benefits of open plan and the need for privacy.

If it’s time for a refurbishment or total refit of your office space, look no further than Interia Systems. We provide specialised office fit outs in the Perth area as well as office equipment and furniture. For more information, contact us today on 1300 784 816 or fill in our online enquiry form.