Open office plans – love them or hate them, recent Entrepreneur article boldly proclaimed that the open-office concept is dead. Does this claim have merit?
What seemed like a great idea dating back to the 1950’s, concept founders believed that the drab, gray, stifling cubicle was also stifling creativity. Solution? Take the walls down! People want to interact, collaborate, and work creatively in a unique space. While not all wrong, the open-office concept came with a new set of challenges. Interruptions, a noisy environment, and lack of privacy simply just doesn’t work for some.
It’s been said that to “get creative” you have to get out of your normal environment. So even if your normal work environment is a trendy, unique space, it still requires getting out from time to time.
So, what does the office of the future look like if it’s not an open office? According to the article, the solution is more of a hybrid space, combining quiet and private options with the more energetic flow of a common area. These flexible spaces allow for unique ways for employees to work, including walking meetings, the ability to come and go to your non-assigned space as needed, and more opportunities for a combination of home and office work in a given day.
We can expect a the brains behind workplace design to start thinking outside of the 9 – 5 box and leaning more towards creating an environment for employees to be productive 24/7 or on demand – any time they need it.