Devil's Advocate: The Office Purist

Not sold on the latest trendy workspace designs?  Would you rather work uninterrupted?  When you hear “open workspace” do you hear “constant distractions”?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not alone.

It seems all anyone is talking about these days is the value of innovative office designs that are centered around an open floor plan as well as open lines of communication.  But what about those who truly shine in traditional work spaces?

While we may be in the midst of a mass movement toward a more desirable office environment, there are still some office space purists among the ranks who pine for the cubicle of yesteryear.

Though the net effect of innovative office interiors seems to be positive – having increased morale, enticed potential employees, and even peaked interest among clients – some point to a dip in overall productivity as a result.  So what gives?

Open spaces are intended for open interaction, and while for some workers this facilitates meaningful collaboration, it can be just as much a cause for distraction for others.  Constant chit chat can create a lot of noise which can be difficult to tune out.  Frequent interruptions can also make it tough to stay on task, causing a fair amount of stress for some employees who already struggle to meet project deadlines.

Excess noise isn’t the only possible drawback in an open office; funky color schemes and furniture arrangements can cause their own problems.  Trendy furniture and brightly colored walls might help reel in the top talent, but it can also be the cause for wandering eyes and minds, distracting employees from their daily tasks.

For those people who prefer an office without the added bells and whistles, the classic cubicle – the Ol’ Reliable of office furniture – might be more than enough maximumize productivity.  Still, more and more employees are thriving in their company’s modern, welcoming office environments.

In a 2011 study, organizational psychologist Matthew Davis noted that “open offices often fostered a symbolic sense of organizational mission, making employees feel like part of a more laid-back, innovative enterprise,” a feeling that can foster a stronger team interactions and an overall sense of community in the workplace.

The best option for your company depends on your preferred office feng shui that best suits your team’s unique personality.  No two offices are alike, and Office Space Planners can help you design and furnish your office in whatever way best suits your specific design needs.


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