The open office conversation continues, with the Wall Street Journal and Mashable recently weighing in. Mashable discusses the potential detriments of the open office in an article titled, “Open Office Plans May Be Hurting Productivity,” with the main issue being a lack of quiet spaces for employees who need privacy to be productive.
To complement this, the Wall Street Journal presents the solution of providing quiet, comfortable areas for introverts who need a quiet environment to focus. The photos included in this article are great examples of the types of areas offices could provide.
This isn’t a new concept to us – we know there are concerns about a fully open office, but there shouldn’t be with proper design. In our post, Why the Open Office is a Good Thing, we defend the open office done right, and there certainly isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s critical to have conversations with your staff to gauge their open environment tolerance. If you have an office full of extroverts, they might not mind primarily open space with only a few quiet areas; however, with a 50/50 split of introverts vs. extroverts, it’s necessary to designate more quiet areas that will satisfy the need for privacy.
What’s key here is flexibility, which is important as more and more millennials enter the workforce. Flexible furniture options will allow employees to transition from private areas to open spaces. The most important element of your office design isn’t open vs. private, it’s about providing environments that recognize the need for work settings that support both collaborative work and focused work.
Is your office looking to accommodate introverts and extroverts for the ideal open office environment? Check out solutions for your workspace here.