Design an Open Office Layout

 In Blog

Office layouts have changed. Private offices and rows of cubicles are no longer ubiquitous. Today’s office denizens, particularly technology workers, favor an open office layout. Proponents of these seating arrangements believe they encourage transparency and collaboration by keeping workers visible and accessible.

Companies such as Facebook and Google have made open offices a point of interest. Those businesses, famous for fostering creativity, are thriving. Can any of their successes be traced to the office seating plan?

Many businesses seeking to emulate these high-tech standouts, are betting that switching to an open office design will encourage group innovation. The Midwest is a long way from Silicon Valley, but even Missouri commercial construction contractors are getting requests for these trendy spaces.

But for everyone who likes an unfettered view of their coworkers, there’s someone else who wants nothing more than the quiet provided by four solid walls. Resolving the conflict inherent in an open plan, that of accessibility versus distractions, takes a skillful designer. Here are some things to consider when you design an open office layout plan.

Offer Flextime

Plan a varied work space to accommodate different work styles. The arrangement of desks, chairs and workstations should reflect your company’s organization. Seating workgroups together makes sense, but workers needn’t be restricted to one desk. Employees equipped with laptops can move freely around the office.

Make flexible, multi-functional seating available. Small clusters of chairs can host casual meetings. Establish quiet zones in corners of the room where staff can retreat to work. Make standing desks or tall bars available for those who want a break from sitting.

Keep It to a Dull Roar

Open areas filled with people and computers hum with activity. The din can be tamed through appropriate building materials and techniques. Walls should be adequately insulated to control noise. Sound-absorbing materials and panels can be strategically placed.

Enlighten Workers

Big open spaces need good lighting. The definition of “good lighting” will be company and task specific. Bright lights are essential for certain kinds of work. Filtered illumination is best for others. A well-designed lighting scheme enhances both mood and productivity. Natural light is particularly cheerful and an open office makes the most of it by eliminating walls and dividers that block light.

Don’t Slam the Door on Privacy

Conference rooms and private areas should be included in your office building. Some employees work with confidential information and some meetings should be conducted behind closed doors. Human resources generally requires a separate area to guard employee privacy.

Storee is a full-service commercial construction contractor. We’ll take charge of your project from inception to completion. Whether you need to revamp an existing space or want to break ground on new commercial construction, we can help.

Contact us today for more information.