The open-plan office layout was once touted as, amongst many other things, the office of the future, the answer to collaborative working and the most effective factor in workplace creativity – but is it really?
That doesn’t seem to be the case at all, though it has taken decades for business professionals to really cotton on to this realisation, one that’s shaking up offices the world over.
According to Julian Treasure of the Sound Agency, “Nobody can understand two people talking at the same time,” which is something that every business manager should have cottoned on to a long time ago, though as that’s in the past, what can or should be done about excessive noise in the office due to far too many employees sharing the same ‘auditory bandwidth’?
Whilst the Sound Agency would be more than happy to help, at a price naturally, there are alternatives to noisy open-plan offices and that’s something that you, as a business manager or owner, should be looking at.
Software – the flexible alternative to the open-plan office?
Yes, you read correctly, some business managers have successfully used office layout software to help them design their own office layouts and these programs can actually be downloaded for free.
These templates enable business managers to design every aspect of the office layout right down to electrical sockets and wastepaper baskets, so it’s actually possible to design the perfect office – provided of course that you understand what the perfect office entails – on your computer.
With one of these office template programs and the necessary materials and supplies – these include room partitions and sliding doors – it would prove remarkably straightforward to design and outfit an office that’s exactly what your business organisation needs.
Moreover, as there are a number of these office template programs available, if you’re not the computer whiz you’ve made yourself out to be in front of your employees, avoid the CAD heavy software in favour of something simpler and easier to use.
Alternative office layouts to consider
If you’re not up for using office layout software to assist you in designing the ultimate office layout for your business organisation, you might find the following alternative office layouts to be exactly what you’re looking for.
The landscape office layout – This office layout combines both the cluster and the modular layouts with plenty of green, a mix of ambient and natural lighting with work areas and stations set at different angles. Plants and natural lighting have many benefits, most notably benefits for employee creativity, health and productivity.
The cluster workstation layout – This type of office layout has proven extremely popular in the offices of telecommunication companies, though whether it will prove advantageous to apply to your business’s workspace is another story altogether.
The modular workstation layout – This office layout is best suited to businesses that require their employees to have access to their own equipment, often a lot of equipment, so as to provide each employee with their own fully functioning workspace.
The traditional office layout – This layout was shunned for many years by business organisations looking to depart from the traditional office hierarchy with private offices reserved for management. However, many have since reverted back to the traditional office layout for one of many reasons – because it works well perhaps?
In addition to what has been discussed regarding office layouts, when altering your office layout consider the benefits of branding your office so as to reinforce brand awareness amongst visitors to your office and pay particular attention to your employees’ comfort; after all, they are your organisation’s greatest asset.
Zoe George is a freelance writer for Spaceslide , company specialising in the supply of a range of quality sliding doors. They also have a large selection of wardrobe systems and room dividers on their website.