Are Open-Offices Here to Stay?

 

Office life has already become increasingly mobile. Despite companies continuing to have brick and mortar buildings employees are still depending less and less on physically being present. How do building owners combat this trend in technology, and is it something that even needs to be considered?

The office is not going away, we don’t have to worry about that but there’s no denying that office design is changing. Gone are the days of face to face meetings and in come virtual conferences, computer screens connecting co-workers, alarms set to “log-on” instead of a reminder to leave the house in enough time to beat the morning commute.

In an era where the corner office is no longer seen as the prized possession, owners and tenants must come up with ways to keep functionality in line with changes in time. Millennials are currently the largest generation in the U.S. workforce and their wants when it comes to their dream office space are vastly different from those of the Baby Boomer generation.

One big trend we’ve seen in office spaces recently is the rise of open-concept offices, but are they all they’re cracked up to be? Not only do they help minimize the division between management and employees, but it also saves money. Open layouts maximize existing space while minimizing costs especially in a time where many employees are telecommunicating which can leave cubicles empty.

Though it does depend largely on your avenue of business. A lawyer or doctor of course would need more privacy, if you’re dealing with any type of sensitive materials then an open-concept office may not be the most practical for your business needs. Another thing to consider are your employees themselves. Some people may begin to feel anxious in an open-office complex because there is an obvious lack of privacy, the baby boomer generation may feel slighted because they “deserve” an office also it’s likely that your employees are more apt to be sick if there are too many people in one area. Lastly, if frequent phone work is involved you might as well nix the idea because the noise will travel.

Time will tell if this trend will last, there are numerous modifications to the open concept that have been said to increase both employee productivity and morale while at the same time still saving space in the office that may become more prominent in the office in years to come such as standing desks- providing workers with the opportunity to stand while working so as not to live such a sedentary work life; “Think spaces”- small hubs within the office that allow for quiet time and creativity when the hustle and bustle of the open-office gets to be too much.