Collaboration and productivity in open-plan spaces
Today’s demand for collaboration-driven open-plan workplaces brings with it some design challenges. Creating an environment that can both increase productivity and promote collaboration and innovation, is a tall order. Open-plan design may inspire collaboration but it can also impede productivity.
Noise can be a serious problem in an open plan environment, with employees often surrounded by other people’s conversations, which can be distracting and lead to reduced cognitive performance. The need for privacy, both audibly and visibly, is an important and often overlooked consideration when creating a “collaborative workspace”. Office design must still support contemplation and individual work.
How can we achieve both privacy and collaboration in a single design solution? Choice. By offering diverse settings that meet workers’ individual needs, you are not only providing spaces designed to inspire collaboration, innovation, and creativity, but also providing the opportunity for people to retreat from noise and other distractions.
While people are still experimenting with ways to balance the need for collaboration and the need for privacy, a well designed open-plan workspace will allow for both. Achieve this with office culture, effective office design, and a careful selection of furniture, to suit the needs of your organisation.