Having been in the corporate fit out space since 1997, we have received many design briefs, met a lot of clients, and attended countless locations across Australia for site walkthroughs where senior stakeholders have presented their visions for their workspaces.
It is safe to say that most corporates now demand an open plan area where they are able to accommodate more staff, increase productivity and save upwards of 20% on overheads. We have also seen a noticeable increase in the ratio of open plan areas against total floor space.
We can attest that the question “How many workers can I fit in my office?” is a question we just don’t hear asked by professional companies. Open planning is a pre-requisite, hence the question becomes “How can I design I space that my staff will enjoy working in, and that will increase our collaboration and productivity?”
The open plan workspace is not a new concept. In the early 21st century companies would consolidate task-based workers into common areas:
By the 1940’s open planning was commonplace across banking, insurance and media industries and large open office spaces housed the majority of office workers:
The benefits of the open plan workspace, when implemented well, far outweigh the cons and include:
- Employee Morale – open offices can be designed to encourage positive social interaction, collaboration, organizational culture and a sense of community
- Cost Efficiency – open plan offices save upwards of 20% on overheads and if the right sort of furniture is selected, office planners are able to maximize usable space
- Environmentally Friendly – open office spaces are more eco-friendly as they provide much greater lighting and ventilation allowing for efficiencies in heating and cooling
- Productivity – open plan offices have been statistically proven to facilitate higher productivity. A 1996 study by Harvard Business Review demonstrated productivity increases within organizations of up to 440%
The design challenge of open space planning is simply not new. We do however continue to optimize and enhance our workspace environments making use of advances in technology and communications.
Further the options available to design, configure and install workstations and office furniture into open plan office spaces addresses most concerns. Workstations:
- can be optimized to host small or large groups of domain-based workers together and can be configured to fit most office layouts
- sizes now accommodate the physical space needs for all types of white-collar professionals ranging from data entry clerks right up to executive management
- are now designed to maximize the actual m2 space allocated per person and privacy concerns are being addressed without the need for intimidating divider screens that create cube like spaces
Screens, partitions and dividers are much more functional and can play a large role in quieting the environment while offering employees a sense of privacy without reducing the value of collaboration.
Accessories, enhancements and add-on such as additional storage, shelving, power and data cabling have driven cost efficiency and often give employees more spaces that can be personalized.
Fittings, fixtures, occasional furniture and dedicated collaboration spaces complement an open space office and are critical in creating mood, giving workers dedicated spaces for quiet time, small meetings, and dealing with noise pollution.
Office Space Design provides sustainable architectural and design services to companies undertaking relocations, refurbishments and complete fit outs in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
Office Space Design is a specialist professional services providers engaging with clients across the full project lifecycle. From concept through to final commissioning,
Office Space Design delivers inspirational workspaces that are efficient, productive and customized to business needs.
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