MEAVO Dec 7, 2018
Great post! I'd like to comment on point 1) open plan floors. This kind of layout definitely has its advantages as people can more easily communicate with each other. At least this is the thinking. Recent Harvard research (see BBC article) actually suggests that when offices switch to an open-plan layout the amount of emails and text comms actually increases while face-to-face interactions decline. Further research suggests that productivity drops as employees have a hard time concentrating given the constant noise levels and disruptions.

Why is it then that businesses increasingly turn to an open-plan layout? One key factor is of course cost. You can pack more employees into the same office space if you make it an open-plan layout.

How could you have the best of both worlds (private offices vs. open-plan)? Here are 3 tips:
  1. Let employees work from home more often. This will allow them to concentrate on a difficult task without being distracted.
  2. Create more private spaces. Get a few free standing office phone booths. They don’t take up much space and are easy to set up. Employees can use them whenever they need some privacy - whether it’s getting on a call or focusing on work.
  3. Introduce hot-desking. If you don’t have the space for office phone booths or further meeting rooms, why don’t you make the space? Remove a few fixed desks and introduce hot-desking. This will especially work well if businesses allow their employees to work from home more often.
(disclaimer, at MEAVO we make office phone booths)