What is the better working environment: open office vs. closed office? Hmmm, you just can’t say, because they both suit well, it just depends what kind of business you’re in. But, in the story ahead I’m going to bring up some pro’s and con’s of both.
I’ve asked a pretty significant number of friends and just people itself the same question. Start from yourself and ask yourself this question. Let’s break it down to an individual person. Through the lifetime working experience some people stick to jobs longer some shorter, on the other side some people switch jobs more often than others. During that time people change habits, change society, geographic location, culture, change themselves, grow up professionally and socially, and so all these life changing factors directly influence on the type of working environment accommodation.
If you look from company perspective, an open office working environment accommodates better for small business, startup business, public offices, news and media business, design studios, etc. Those are some of the examples popped my mind and they all come to the common ground: it is cheaper to run the business. That simple. Only the medium and great size companies can afford such, closed office for an each engineer, architect, designer, editor, etc.
Imagine this, you gotta wear headphones and listen music to get your inner peace so you can be concentrated on your work, while creating something, spreading your idea, getting focused. Why? Because there are many colleagues around you doing the same thing called “missing privacy”, some of them collaborating, chatting, having phone call, sneezing and coughing, whispering, whistling, producing maybe disturbing sounds. That all impact negatively on going from a great idea to successful project. Can you say it doesn’t impact productivity?
Let’s take another perspective. Open space gets you an easy and quick access to many colleagues. You can see when they pause on something and you can jump in and get on your business. You can get more people easily involved. Motivation, inputs, addings, advices, opinions, comments, quick views help in a second on furnishing your moment into something you wanted. That’s how collaboration and communication pays out to you and the company.
So what now? What is better solution? I think there is no better one but there is a best one called “hybrid office environment”. That’s how I would call it. It would consist of best elements of both. A single employee office room, a team office room (some projects and jobs require several people with different skills that collaborate continuously), a meeting area – common office space – open office space like a huge conference room, a lounge area where you could just stop working and do the real break, a brain break, have a non business talk or just a cup of coffee or tea in peace, a terrace for fresh air would be an equilibrium point.
So the ultimate office space would by me definitely be the blend of all that, home feel – but still the office – enjoy work and have fun.