- Today's workspaces are so different in layout, design and color that there's no longer a typical office, according to a new report by Clutch, a research, ratings and review platform. The report found that offices included open spaces, traditional layouts, a combination of both traditional and open areas or no physical work areas at all, in some cases.
- The report featured offices in nine companies across the country, which included: a traditional office at Geneva Supply in Delavan, Wisconsin, which has closed-in work spaces and comfortable seating for groups of employees; a personalized office at Wolfe LLC in Pittsburgh, with quiet space and areas for relaxing; a hybrid office at Deliberate Directions in Boise, Idaho, which includes both traditional and open work areas; and Fueled in New York City, which has an office in a location that makes commuting easier for its employees.
- In the report, Clutch noted that today's office may mix the traditional format with modern amenities, including open offices and the ability to work remotely.
Workers favor an office design that fosters collaboration, but they also want spaces that allow them to focus in on their work, studies show. Capital One's 2019 Work Environment Survey found that the majority of workers prefer an office design that allows them to perform their best. While more than three quarters favored office layouts that foster collaboration, many also said that spaces allowing concentration improve the quality of their work. Employers should keep these survey outcomes in mind when they're looking to redesign their office or relocate; although there's no typical office design, no one design fits all employees and their needs.
Open floor plans foster collaboration between employees, some studies note. In fact, the Gensler Research Institute found that employees were more productive and creative when they could interact physically in an open design.
But while open spaces make it easier for workers to interact, workers also know when such office designs aren't conducive to productivity. For example, results from the 2019 Staples Workplace Survey showed that more than half the respondents found open floor designs distracting, with 40% calling their own offices too open. Rather than see employees' attitudes about open floor plans as a contradiction, employers can incorporate in their office plans both open designs to foster interaction and smaller, more private spaces where employees can concentrate without distractions.