Open Floor Policy – 3 Reasons Effective Leaders Visit Regularly With Co-Workers

Featured Image

The open floor office, with plenty of light and room to breathe, is the direct opposite of the cubicles and low-ceiling layout. Besides being friendlier and more inviting, the open floor plan is also more egalitarian.

In these offices, managers work side by side with employees, and everyone can see everybody. So, if you want to talk to your manager, you can simply walk to their desk and say hi. There’s no need to schedule an appointment and wait at their door.

But is this really a good idea?

Unlike their predecessors, open-floor workspaces lack privacy and can be quite distracting. Plus, you always have the added pressure of your colleagues and managers watching your every move.

In today’s article, we’ll have a look at the pros and cons of open floor workspaces, and offer a few actionable tips to make it work.

Think of an open-floor workspace as a beehive – buzzing with energy, alive with collaboration. 

By opening up the workspace, corporations are aiming to create an organic blend of chatter and work that turns that atmosphere friendly and warm. Some might say that these spaces break down the invisible walls between suits and creatives, fostering a sense of unity.

With this layout, transparency is the word of the day – you’ve got eyes on everything and everyone. Even those higher-ups seem less like distant rulers in their glass towers. Plus, with 98% of employees looking for a hybrid work schedule, offices are mostly empty nowadays. Therefore, an open-floor design is also a way to save money. 

Overall, when implemented right, this layout can be a low-cost way to improve the office atmosphere and boost employees’ motivation and productivity. It’s also a fantastic way to improve communication between colleagues, but also between teams and their managers. 

And yet, there are some concerns that we need to address.

Pros & Cons of the Open Floor Policy

Open and effective communication is the biggest advantage when it comes to open floor workspaces. For businesses that apply the concept of Lean process improvement, communication between workers is paramount as it allows every team member to know their assignments in relation to their colleagues’ tasks. 

When communication runs smoothly, there is less time wasted with hiccups, and there are fewer bottlenecks. As a result, productivity increases, and workers become more efficient. All these translate into increased profit for the company and an improved reputation. 

Furthermore, an open floor space encourages office friendships, which further help boost employee productivity and motivation. After all, it’s a lot more pleasant to work surrounded by friendly faces instead of white walls that seem to cave in on themselves, trapping you inside.

On the flip side, too much transparency and openness can make you feel like you’re under the spotlight at all times. When everyone sees everything, there’s no privacy, which can be stifling for people who like their solitude.

There’s also the noise factor and the fact that deep focus is usually nonexistent in these offices. How should you focus on your financial report when your colleague is talking about cakes and good food?

How to Make the Open Floor Policy Work for Your Team

Just because there are some humps in the road, it doesn’t mean we have to return to cubicles. The open floor space can be the right answer, as long as it’s designed keeping each team member’s needs in mind.

Here are a few tips on how to make it work:

Create Quiet Zones

To encourage deep focus and help introverts feel at home, create dedicated areas where silence reigns. These spots should be sanctuaries for deep thought and concentration and, if possible, should be somewhat separated from the main plan.

You can use sound-absorbing panels or even plant barriers to dampen the din. It also helps to offer noise-canceling headphones and arrange the furniture in such a way that no one makes unintended eye contact with their coworkers. 

Offer Flex Spaces

Like adding leaves to a dining table for holiday guests, incorporate flexible meeting rooms and breakout areas. These can be used for small group collaborations, informal catch-ups, or individual retreats when someone needs to spread out their work like a weekend handyman across his garage floor. 

The key is adaptability – spaces that evolve with the daily ebb and flow of office life.

Define Etiquette Rules

Sometimes you’ve got to lay down the law (gently, of course), like setting quiet hours or creating ‘no meeting’ times throughout the week. Encourage the use of meeting rooms for longer conversations rather than lengthy team huddles at desks that cascade chatter across workstations. 

Personalization Pass

Allowing employees to add a personal touch to their workspace can be as welcoming as your favorite armchair at home – it fosters comfort and a sense of ownership within an open environment. 

Provide movable desk dividers adorned with personal effects or photos. These touches create psychological space amidst physical openness while also serving practical purposes.

Wrap Up

In the grand tapestry of modern workspaces, the open floor plan stands out for the atmosphere it creates. It’s also a great egalitarian workforce since managers and employees share the same space.

Effective leaders view these shared spaces as fertile ground for cultivating transparency and trust. They recognize that visibility fosters collaboration and a sense of community. This is why more organizations, regardless of size, will come to adopt this layout in the coming years.

Receive afreecost analysis

In Touch
Sales Team
Online now
In touch
Call now