Open working spaces. As productive as predicted?
A bit of history
Once offices were small. A limited group of people sat and worked together in one space, sometimes except for the boss. He needed a private space for the proper reasons and also towards visitors this made a good impression.
As the industrial landscape changed to a more administrative or services based environment, offices grew. One room wasn’t enough anymore.
Enter the multi-room office, with functions and departments determining the number, location and size of spaces. More space also meant higher costs. Walls occupied square metres, square meters were expensive. The walls lost the battle and had to go. Wall-less offices became the new trend.
Next step : cubicles. One big wall-less surface was split into small personal zones by using an alibi for walls: room dividers. The average surface per employer was limited to some 2m2 to 3m2. Employer happiness became limited, too.
The logical evolution was to get those dividers out. And guess what? The landscape office was born. Hurray…
Finally, square meters became more and more expensive. Again, new solutions had to be found. Since not everybody is working at the same time, the idea was to drop the personal space concept and to create spaces with all access desks, including lockers somewhere further to keep personal belongings. An ingenious guy called it flex offices. Most were looking forward to this evolution. The more working stations where one can work at, the merrier, no? And this is where we are today.
“Unhappy and distracted employees produce less. It’s a fact.”
A bit of psychology
Taking history into account, the typical office lay-out has evolved from small family-like surfaces, over a chicken battery approach, to a ‘no-spot-for-you, dear‘ concept.
For years, this evolution was stated as a win-win : more heads per surface, and in return non-seclusion for employees. But it turns out to be a win-lose.
This of course is no problem from the winner’s point of view. A first sight, that is.
Because unhappy and distracted employees produce less. It’s a fact.
It’s not only psychology, it has become irrefutable reality. Some companies already grasped this reality and are taking measures : Google and the likes are thinking working spaces over.
A bit of us
So what can we do about this evolution? Well, we can’t change this trend. That is up to you. But we can inspire you with what is happening in the market. And whenever you need dead gorgeous 3D-images of working environments, let us know. Because we not only have ‘some’ history in making such, but we’re also psychologically well equipped to convince even those employees that they will work in the nicest space they’ve ever worked in. Hey, we’re specialized in real estate marketing, aren’t we?