7 Innovative Tricks to Take Advantage of an Open Office Design
Open office design is one of the hottest trends around. But, far from a passing fad, open offices can actually be rather practical, providing value to your workers. Especially important if you're looking to attract millennial workers, who are leading the flexible working charge, this style of office setting is deemed more creative and collaborative.
Whether you have an existing open office space or you’re looking for a way to incorporate more open office elements into your traditional workplace structure, here are seven innovative tricks that’ll help you take advantage of this open layout.
1. Incorporate movable furniture
Static office environments are a thing of the past. Movable furniture can help cater to different employee preferences, allowing them to easily switch between different work modes throughout the day and allows for your business to evolve and adpat more too.
By having movable desks and cabinets, you can easily create walls when you need to isolate yourself in order to focus or bring the team together for meetings.
2. Provide alternative seating
We all know how bad sitting all day is for your health. In order to promote employee health, it’s a good idea to offer multiple seating options for your employee to switch between throughout the day.
You can offer options like:
• Yoga balls
• Kneeling chairs
• Standing desks
• Treadmill desks
• Walking meetings
3. Forget assigned seating
Flexible seating allows your employees to work from the part of the office where they feel the most productive. For instance, some people might prefer the quiet desk in the corner, or the couch that gets the most sunlight. Others, who are motivated by an energetic work atmosphere, might want a desk that’s right in the center of all the office commotion. Whatever their liking, make sure you offer the choices that best suit the business and your employees.
4. Create a coffee shop–like atmosphere
Many remote workers tend to prefer working in coffee shops due to the constant background activity and creative atmosphere. You can create this same ambiance in your office by including a mix of cafe-style and lounge-type seating arrangements that will facilitate more relaxed conversations.
5. Take advantage of underused space
When it comes to maximizing the space you have, you need to know which areas of your office are actually being used. One way to find out is by implementing a software tool.
This type of management software will tell you which areas of the office people love to be in and highlight others that could use a little freshening up. Using this tool, you don’t have to make office design decisions based on intuition alone.
6. Include configurable spaces
Open offices aren't for everyone. For those who need their own space to focus, these layouts can actually put a damper on individual work. That’s why it’s important to also offer alternative seating arrangements so your office works for every type of employee.
Position your office furniture so employees won’t be able to see one another when working, or have couches that sit below the eyeline of the rest of the workers. You could even create quiet comfy rooms, with limited noise and distraction for those that truly just need to get away from it all. Remember, flexible working means flexibility in the space and the choices of how one works.
7. Use zoning principles
Although open offices thrive on creativity and flexibility, it’s important to have some sort of standards so your office doesn’t descend into chaos.
One way to do this is to adopt zoning standards, similar to how urban engineers mark off certain aspects of a city. For example, if you have room, dedicate a portion of your office to quiet, focused work. This will help to provide some semblance of structure in which your office can thrive.
Incorporating elements of an open office layout can help most workplaces become more productive and communicative. A creative and inspiring office space is often no more than a few design changes away!