When well designed, open plan offices are wonderful space that encourages team work, collaboration, and effective management. Use this quick guide to optimise your open plan office.
Good open plan offices provide a good balance of privacy and staff interaction. Using partitions of varying heights and carefully considering layout can contribute to achieving this balance. Suppliers of office furniture in Sydney and elsewhere are able to provide specific advice about designing your open plan office.
In addition, staff input about where they’d prefer to be based can be taken into consideration. Providing comfortable office chairs can enhance staff health and productivity. For comfortable and ergonomic office chairs, Sydney has a range of reputable providers who can assist with making recommendations.
Clean Desk Policy
Reducing desk clutter creates a sense of visual harmony in open plan offices where everyone’s desk is visible to other staff members. Providing each workstation with plenty of under the desk storage and shelving solutions encourages staff to reduce desktop clutter and improve the visual appeal and presentation of the open plan office. Clean desks can reduce visual distraction and increase productivity.
Managers may find it effective to introduce for a formal office etiquette policy to provide staff with clear guidelines and expectations.
- Noise levels. Appropriate noise and speech levels should be defined.
- Phone management and noise. Phones can be set to lower ringing tones. Staff can be provided with guidance as to an appropriate speaking volume when talking on the phone.
- Use of headphones. When listening to music, staff should use headphone to reduce noise levels.
Depending on the particular open office, management may opt for a formal policy of having all meetings to be conducted outside the open office area in a meeting room to minimise audio distractions to other employees. In addition to formal meeting rooms, the effective use of partitions between each workstation in the open plan office can allow collaborative work to be conducted with minimal noise distractions to others in the open plan office. This is one of the best ways of taking advantage of the benefits of the open plan office for team work.
A good level of lighting can build comfort and ambiance and encourage staff productivity. Businesses can opt for a combination of natural light from windows and artificial lighting, and the use of tinted windows or blinds can eliminate UV exposure. Desks can be fitted with individual lighting where necessary.
Climate control is vital in any workplace. In the open plan office, good climate control adds to employee satisfaction and comfort. Effective climate control doesn’t simply enhance employee productivity regardless of weather, it improves air quality and thereby occupational health.
Provide private spaces for recreation, relaxation, or collaborative work. For open plan offices, private spaces are a good way to provide employees with individual time during breaks, lunch times, or for a change of pace from the shared office spaces. Set up private spaces with attractive decorative pieces, pot plants, comfortable furniture, and amenities, such as water coolers and fridges.