When was the last time you looked around your work environment and thought about what worked well – and what didn’t?
Many of us had time away from the office in the last few years and plenty of us have tried working from home. But it’s important to remember that not everyone had that chance. Some jobs just can’t be done from your kitchen table, particularly if you’re in a manufacturing or production environment.
This has possibly highlighted a bit of a divide between office and production teams in your workplace, that you might not have seen before when everyone was in the same building, but not in the same room.
As everyone returns to work fully, there are real benefits to closing that divide – not least by bringing everyone into the same space.
An open plan office improves communication and creativity
An open plan office might not be feasible for every business, but it can bring some real benefits that are definitely worth considering. You need to put some thought into the layout and design to make the most of the space.
But get it right, and you’ll soon see an increase in collaboration and creativity. Teams can communicate easier when they can see each other, rather than facing closed doors and blank walls.
When different departments need to collaborate, it’s easier for them to bounce ideas about and problem solve when they’re together. Plus, being able to see the person you need means less time emailing or setting up meetings, when a simple walk over for a quick conversation might be all you need – saving time and increasing productivity.
When you need regular conversations to happen between two different areas, such as IT and Production, getting them in the same room can only reduce pressure and time.
Open plan working maximises use of space
Separate offices require space given over to corridors, meeting rooms and so on. You’re also limited to the existing room sizes.
With a well-planned open floor space, you can create exactly the areas you need, ensuring each department has enough room for their team members and creating communal spaces that allow large numbers of employees to pass through them with ease.
You can improve the way staff move about, creating more flexible workspaces. And if you’re worried about noise, there are plenty of acoustic solutions designed specifically for open plan workspaces.
Improving relations and creating a positive culture
Another huge benefit of bringing everyone together is that it removes any perceived barriers between departments and roles. Open plan workspaces can help everyone to feel equal, which can only improve employee relationships.
Being in a shared space allows different departments to bond together. This builds a camaraderie and friendly atmosphere that makes the workplace a more pleasant place to be – which is particularly important for good mental health and employee wellbeing. And, as we know, a happier team is also a more productive one.
We think that open plan work environments can bring great benefits to your business. So, as your office workers head back in and your production teams are getting back to normal, take a look around your workplace and see what you could change to bring your teams together.