Advantages to open floor plans in commercial office space
Commercial office tenants, generally speaking, tend to focus on location and cost when choosing new space. Among a number of other factors, also important is the type of physical layout that their potential selection can provide. Thus, it’s critical for tenants to determine what kind of environment will work best in their new space—an open floor plan or a more traditional set-up with individual offices and rooms?
The nature of your business goes a long way toward determining what kind of layout will work best. Professional service firms with a steady stream of visiting clients may opt for a more traditional approach, which can offer privacy and the appearance of a higher level professionalism, which is certainly important to maintaining brand.
Still, the advantages of an open floor plan combined with a few closed conference rooms can provide an equally beneficial office design solution. For starters, fit-up costs are drastically less, the move-in process is shortened and there will be fewer landlord approval roadblocks. Maintenance concerns are also reduced and cleaning is usually simpler and cheaper.
Proponents of open floor plans also point to the communication benefits. Teams and project collaborators can exchange ideas rapidly and be encouraged to seek input. Offices of this type can be designed to situate team and department workstations in designated sections throughout the floorplate. When privacy is needed, conference rooms or areas cordoned off by portable dividers could be used.
Traditional commercial offices are often blamed for stigmatizing the corporate structure, as managers and executives are often given more prominent offices. This is an issue that any good leader could ameliorate with common sense managerial tactics. Nevertheless, it’s a reality of today’s business world.
Subjective issues that tend to arise in an office setting could cause some problems in an open floorplan setting. Heating and cooling, for example, always tends to create friction among employees. Personal habits of nearby co-workers, now out in the open for all to experience, could initiate some discontent as well.
In terms of efficiency, open floor plans tend to work in unison with today’s more mobile workforce, allowing companies to do more with less. Outside of the need for strict confidentiality, an open floor plan can serve most companies quite well by empowering collaboration, reducing occupancy costs and increasing workplace functionality.