You’ve likely seen tech offices like Google or Yahoo, modern workspaces supposed to allow for easy collaboration and a relaxed environment, but this may not be the reality of the open office. Modern research shows we may have it all wrong when it comes to the open office, and with over 70% of US companies have already adopted it, the question becomes, how do we fix it?
Why an Open Office?
The open office was created with the best intentions. Allowing quick collaboration between employees, democratizing the workplace, and ditching the all too depressing cubicle life. While the idea has its heart in the right place, execution in the workplace has not produced the intended results. While employees may initially feel like they’re part of a laid-back, innovative enterprise, the open office ultimately damages workers’ attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction.
The Big Problems
A 2013 study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, found that many workers in open offices are frustrated by distractions that lead to poor performance. Nearly half of the surveyed workers in open offices said the lack of sound privacy was a significant problem for them and more than 30 percent complained about the lack of visual privacy. What was once thought to have a positive effect is actually decreasing employee happiness and severely affecting their productivity? Worse, the open-office concept also impacts the physical health of the employee. A Swedish study found that open office workers were twice as likely to take sick days as traditional office workers, likely due to the spread of germs and increased environmental stress of working in an open space.
So how do we fix this problem? Should everyone go back to the monotony of cubicle life? With modern technology already changing the way we do business, maybe the solution lies in using new tech to change the workplace. For instance, companies could join a popular new trend, allowing employees to work from home.
Getting With The Times
There is no reason that companies can’t evolve with the times and do away with that all too distracting open office. It may look cool, may seem inviting, but when productivity falters and employees suffer, maybe it is time to rethink the current trend and move towards the future. Remote teams are here to stay, and even companies sold into the open office arrangement are taking note. Many top tech companies are starting to allow employees to work from home a few days a week, allowing workers a chance to recharge and enjoy their home office.
Have any open office horror stories to share or want to explore going from the workplace to the remote job of your dreams? Get in touch with CrewBloom at email@example.com