"The open plan office is dead – long live the open plan office!"
In all aspects of design, trends come and go. The introduction of office cubicles has largely fallen out of favour, but whereas the decriers were saying this symbolised the death of the open plan office, this has not been the case. The design leaders, often the larger tech companies, have used experts outside of the industry to ask what work space set-up best suits our needs as humans?
There has been an emphasis on collaboration and communication in recent years, and this has been reflected in corporate design trends. Movable partitions, options for working environments, open, relaxing and welcoming spaces for employees from all departments to linger and mingle have all been seen in the swanky offices we can be proud to show to our clients.
With all ying there must be a yang – and for office design trends this has been to throw the whole concept of openness out of the window and opt instead for the closed office. It may cost more in terms of set-up and floor space, and having a set room for each employee, with their own desk and a door to close on the rest of your colleagues flies in the face of work space trends in 2019. So why would you choose it? Why risk office shame at corridors of closed doors, unwelcoming to visitors, so off-trend that it looks as though you are not a progressive company? Why spend a greater part of your design budget on static walls and doors/ separate work spaces and individual desks?
It doesn’t suit all businesses, but it is the best solution for certain industries. Tying into our blog post from last week, The Silent Office, it has been proven that giving people the opportunity to access silent, or very quiet environments, can result in an increase in both their memory and their productivity. If the nature of your work requires your employees to really concentrate then having their own space is likely to ensure they are better able to carry out their work than within a noisy, distracting, open space.
Any work space design needs to look first at the purpose for which it is required – and the company using it. There is no right or wrong design in terms of trends, but there most certainly is in terms of workers. What suits one company won’t necessarily suit another, and to get the right working environment for you and your employees you need a design company that starts by gaining an understanding of your company culture and the nature or your employees work.