Open-Space Work Area Benefits
- Information being Absorbed
- Innovation and Idea Sharing
- Improved Communication
- Teamwork versus Competition
- More Energy and Increased Health Benefits
The benefits of open-space work areas outweigh some of the disadvantages. While some people find it difficult to concentrate in an open-space environment, most workers find it an easy transition instead of being stuffed into a cubicle. As long as there are accommodations and solutions for private moments on the premises, there’s no reason that open spaces can’t work in an office environment.
Information being Absorbed
When employees are working in closer proximity, they are able to absorb every aspect of the company. This includes what others are doing around them. Instead of placing each employee into a box, the open concept allows them to know what their neighbors are doing. It’s said that we can absorb information peripherally when others are working nearby, which is a natural way to absorb information pertaining to the entire company.
Innovation and Idea Sharing
Employees taking advantage of the open concept will trade ideas with others throughout the day. When they need help, it’s easier to work collaboratively with coworkers since they’re sitting across the desk or right next to them. Groups will form organically to seek solutions to problems. Innovation solutions and sharing of ideas should always be the goal of any company that wants to excel.
When employees have to walk around a maze of cubicles to ask a coworker a question, it doesn’t increase the sense of communication in an organization. Instead the company feels fractured, and the employees are less likely to work together to foster good communication. They’ll send emails or memos. Face-to-face communication works better than written correspondence for people in the same office.
Teamwork versus Competition
There are many employers that believe competition is good for their business. In fact, unless it’s a company that is in sales, direct coworker competition enforces bad interactions. It can cause employees to distrust their coworkers, which leads to bad morale for the entire company. When colleagues work together as a team, more is accomplished, camaraderie develops and morale is high. Less competition means more collaboration, which can have a direct impact on success in the company for the employee as well as the success of the organization.
More Energy and Increased Health Benefits
Employees who have high morale and feel like they’re an important part of a group will be happier. That translates to more energy, less stress and increased health. Stressed people are not happy, but their health can be severely impacted too. Stress can lead to feelings of depression, weakened immune system and malaise. This leads to employees who take more time off from work versus happy employees who love to go to work.
Another benefit to open-space work areas includes increased efficiency since people are working together towards solutions. While there are some critics of the system who believe that it doesn’t fit every employee or environment, there are ways to make the situation suitable for everyone. For times when an employee needs quiet to concentrate, the company makes arrangements for quieter spaces on site.