Hypothetically, an open office space is supposed to provide a series of benefits to the workers within it, and, by extension, add significant revenue to the worker's company.
To be clear, an open office is an office layout in which there aren't any significant physical barriers between one employee's work area and another's, be that a cubicle or some other form of partition.
Further, the concept is intended to prevent any separation between office workers in a professional environment, in order to promote the exchange of information.
This means that any particular desk setup is intended to be modular so that employees can be shuffled from desk cluster to cluster as the number of workers expand or contract.
Why Organizations Implement Open Office Floor Plans
Keep in mind that at present, roughly 80 percent of all office environments employ an open office floor plan of some kind. This strategy, as we will explore, comes to the detriment of their employees.
According to the model, open offices are designed primarily to achieve four objectives:
They should naturally lead to “crumple zones” – deploy a layout which would be easier for expansion in a given office space as well as facilitate worker movement.
Employment of uniform lighting and heating – an open office design would maximize lighting in a given space, thus reducing utility costs while optimizing productivity.
Improved cost-effectiveness – without additional walls, open offices are intended to save any particular firm money on what is perceived to be unneeded partition equipment and construction.
Promote culture collision – in what is supposed to be an open setting, it is thought that otherwise unlikely encounters between co-workers will occur, which would lead to the development of new ideas which would help the firm.
Of course, any given model seems intuitive initially – but, after over half a century of usage, to what degree has the open office plan worked?