Press Release (ePRNews.com) - PETALUMA, Calif. - Jun 28, 2018 - With more than 70 percent of American offices adopting open office floorplans, it would seem this trend indicates high productivity and better collaboration. Why else would companies ditch cubicles and private offices? However, many sources have written in recent years about the unforeseen negative aspects of open offices. Sound privacy was a big issue among 50 percent of people with open offices, and further research shows workers are 15 percent less productive in those environments. Brandon Frere, CEO and health and wellness advocate, recommends business owners do their own research to find out how their office layout affects workers.
“Before you make a drastic change to your entire office, you should really look at the data specific to your company. What’s the feedback?” Frere pondered. “Maybe you’ll find out your employees are actually happy or content with the current situation. A few minor adjustments that don’t cost much could greatly improve morale.”
Workers have complained that poor concentration, loud noises, and distracting conversations are some of the problems with open layouts. Other studies have shown they also contribute to the spread of illness and an increase in sick days taken. “An open plan can easily fit 300, 400 people in one room — it’s a little bit like chicken factory farms,” says organizational psychologist Matthew Davis. “These are not places you want to spend much time.”
Before you make a drastic change to your entire office, you should really look at the data specific to your company. What’s the feedback?
Various experts believe “hybrid offices” with mixtures of open layouts, cubicles, and private spaces are necessary for a fully functional and collaborative work environment. Different generations may also prefer different workspaces. Millennials apparently don’t mind open office layouts, while older generations seek out quieter spaces for their focused work. In fact, employees with tasks or projects that require high amounts of concentration have increased in the past five years, per the Gensler study. This could indicate more private spaces, such as rooms for one person or small group rooms, are needed to facilitate the changes in project types and employee preferences.
Psychology Today pointed out that offices with windows tend to have higher productivity. For example, employees in a call center who rotated seats made $3,000 more when they were placed by a window. It also discussed that if employees are uncomfortable at work, such as anxious about having their back to the door, they would have fewer cognitive resources. Live plants and greenery also help to improve productivity by 15 percent and they are known to reduce stress.
“I think office designs will continue to evolve, and hopefully employees will benefit from the changes. What works for one company may not work for another. While these studies and statistics are helpful, I advise CEOs to look at their retention rates, their current office layout, and the feedback from their workers. Even subtle changes, like adding houseplants, could have big changes in worker satisfaction and output levels,” noted Frere.
About Frere Enterprises
Brandon Frere is an entrepreneur and businessman who lives in Sonoma County, California. He has designed and created multiple companies to meet the ever-demanding needs of businesses and consumers alike. His company website, www.FrereEnterprises.com, is used as a means to communicate many of the lessons, fundamentals and information he has learned throughout his extensive business and personal endeavors, most recently in advocating on behalf of student loan borrowers nationwide.
As experienced during his own student loan repayment, Mr. Frere found out how difficult it can be to work with federally contracted student loan servicers and the repayment programs designed to help borrowers. Through those efforts, he gained an insider’s look into the repayment process and the motivations behind the inflating student loan debt bubble. His knowledge of the confusing landscape of student loan repayment became a vital theme in his future endeavors, and he now uses those experiences to help guide others through the daunting process of applying for available federal repayment and loan forgiveness programs.