Our traditional workspace is transforming with new office designs before our eyes. I am seeing progression to open concepts as the norm for new office spaces and the closed office concepts of the past falling away. More of my clients are looking for completely open space with no offices to accommodate their staff.
I think that companies and their employees are looking for innovative ways to increase communications within their firm and productivity. Because of the increase in telecommuting the need for private offices has been significantly reduced if not completely eliminated.
Technology Advances New Office Designs
Technology has changed the way everyone is communicating and working. With the development of cloud technology workspaces have become more flexible. Fifty four percent of the workforce has accepted changes to their office environment and are partially telecommuting or working in an open office environment. The future of wide open office space is upon us.
When I worked for a major developer he was a believer in the open office concept. Many people looked at the way we operated as strange. In some of our locations the furniture didn’t even match. We had collections of different desks stacked next to each other.
Once people got past the superficial necessity for appearances and began to work the environment changed. We were able to collaborate and share information that made the entire office extremely efficient.
People that would have never know each other if they were in private offices became influential to help others with their work. The team spirit thrived. This is a much more positive environment and I am seeing many of my client’s new office designs reflect this open office concept.
The First Steps To Successfully Implement An Open Office Concept:
- Strategize your objectives and clearly have them defined before implementation
- Everything implemented must consider the employees
- Top management must buy into the open office design
- Don’t rely only on technology your people’s ideas are important
- Take your telecommuters needs into account give them a good understanding of policies and procedures and encourage them to have a good balance between work and their personal life
- Drastic cultural changes take time to be accepted by some this takes time
- Despite my previous comment a good office design, including furniture, helps influence corporate culture.
The opportunity to have a vibrant work environment is appealing to many of my clients. One of my recent leases was for a full floor office tenant. The space had full height glass and they wanted to maximize the view from the twentieth floor. The new office design was required to allow the maximum amount of light into the space.
Our architect designed a space that was completely open. None got a private office. Even the conference areas were exposed. Strategically some walls were place thought the space to give emphasis to certain areas that had a different function but overall the space was open.
When the employees relocated to their new office many were ecstatic with the new office design. There were a few that wanted to design of their former space but over time most of them accepted and enjoyed the new environment.