World Green Building Council recently concluded that there is overwhelming evidence linking the office space design and productivity of employees. But it's not a new thing; it's been there from quite a long time and we all know that productivity level of employees go down when they aren't comfortable. May it be the atmosphere, temperature or the noise level; the employees need to be relaxed and comfortable to work at their best productive levels.
So, it's really important to set the office to create the best possible working environment to make the employees more comfortable. There is no straight answer when asked, which is best among closed cubicles and open plan offices. As there are pros and cons associated with both the designs, you just have to think which design suits your business type the best and which design would be comfortable for your employees.
Cubicle vs. Open Plan
Cubicle Offices: Today, closed cubicle has almost become a synonym for â€˜office space' being employed across the major cities in India. It was designed to get the employees out of the old time open plan offices.
- In 1960s, a designer called Robert Propst proposed an idea of providing independence and autonomy to the employees working in office, and offered a flexible three walled design that can be reshaped to satisfy any need.
- It didn't take too long for businesses to realize that they can cram more people into a smaller space if they use cubicle design at offices. As the result, we can see majority of the office spaces designed with cubicles.
Open Plan Design: It has been the latest trend to have an open environment at office. The logic behind this is that, the employees will be more productive and happier when they work together instead of getting isolated within the walls.
- Open plan offices allow employees to interact with each other which make them feel less isolated. The design also allows spontaneous interjections which helps in promoting the creativity.
- Also, open plan is potentially helpful for less experienced members or interns as they can interact with the experienced employees easily.
There are lots of employees who think that privacy has been one of the major causes of work dissatisfaction, and they also complain about increased noise levels and distraction. This issue is just because the employees feel that they are being watched and they can't just get away with their Facebook visits during work hours.
Colour and Lighting
- Different colours at office can have different impact on the employees. Green makes the employees think broader and help them come up with creative ideas; Red boosts their energy; Pink gives them a calm effect and White has a modern appeal associated with it. So, while choosing the colours, make sure you consider the psychological effects of the colours.
- Next comes the lighting; just check how much natural light the office is receiving and see is there any way to increase it. If you have to get settled in a windowless space, obviously you'll have to go with artificial lighting. In such case, consider using full-spectrum bulbs which simulate daylight keeping the light soft and warm.
Ultimately it's you who know the business well, so just look at the size of your company and the roles of employees, and choose a layout that suits the best for your business and employees. If your employees spend a bit more time on their phones, open plan might not work out for you. But if the team looks creative sharing their ideas with each other, open plan can allow your employees interact with ease. The same applies for colour and lighting as well; all that you do is not just for your employees, but also for your own business.