The flexible office plan vs. open-plan workspaces – How they measure up

Flexible office plans and open-plan office environments are two of the most common options for companies considering tactical ways to make their office space more conducive to productivity and easier to manage. But what do these two concepts offer in reality?

Open-plan offices promise collaboration but deliver noise

In the USA, the open-plan office concept was first popularized in Silicon Valley, where tech start-ups and moguls alike praised its ability to encourage collaboration and communication while keeping office space and infrastructure costs low. While initially, this sounds like a great win-win situation for employees and companies alike, this concept has faced increasing criticism for noisiness and increased distractions. Lack of privacy is an issue when confidential client meetings have to take place, and higher absenteeism is often reported due to the ability of these spaces to allow germs to spread.

Once seen as a one-size-fits-all solution for any business looking to grow and succeed, the open-plan space is now recognized as a highly-functional and rewarding only in specific applications, such as call centers, or in conjunction with other office layouts.

Flexible office plans – The new kid on the block

Also known as Activity-Based-Working (ABW), flexible office plans are the latest example of modern office design ideas. Essentially, these provide employees with a combination of open office design spaces and other task-orientated spaces, often with a non-assigned seating model where spaces are used according to who needs them, rather than belonging to a specific employee.

This allows employees to choose where they want to work each day, and when combined with flexible working hours and work-from-home options, allow companies to maximize space utilization, reduce their footprint and empower employees to take an active role in their workspace.

Private spaces are provided for making confidential client calls and holding meetings (which also ensures less noise and distraction for other employees), team brainstorming sessions can be held in more comfortable, creative surroundings far away from desks, and desk flexibility allows employees to pick the space that suits their needs and comfort levels.

Speak to the specialists about designing and building contemporary office interiors

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