"Open office plans are as bad as you thought." - The Washington Post
"Open plan, not working." – The Research Whisperer
"The open-office concept is dead." – Entrepreneur
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ll have seen many similar headlines like the ones about the failures of an open office. But if this really is the case, why has open plan become the most common office layout?
As it turns out, the open office design itself isn’t the issue. Rather, it’s how people use it.
You've probably found yourself wondering where to go when you want to take an important Zoom meeting, but got stuck taking it at your desk and getting disrupted by others around you, because there's no other place to go. (And you've walked around the office and checked.)
An activity-based workspace solves this.
An activity based workspace consists of different zones designed for specific tasks. They can include:
It goes without saying that employees will feel happier about working from an office if there's a place for them to work from that suits what they need to do, whether it's focusing deeply on a task by themselves, having a quick catch-up with a colleague over coffee, or simply changing up the environment to feel more inspired.
Here are some statistics that support the switch to activity-based working:
So, there you have it. Activity based workspaces that provide employees with a choice of settings might just be the cure to the open office.
Are your employees ready for an ABW?
A formal survey is the best way to accurately gauge whether employees are happy with the current office setup, and what causes them the most disruption during the workday. After all, an activity-based workspace is meant to be focused on what helps employees. Their feedback on current painpoints will tell you what exactly your office needs and what they'll actually adopt from an office improvement project, even if indirectly. (You don't exactly need to ask if they'd specifically want a gaming room, for example)
Is your ABW tailored to your workforce?
While there are a few essential components that make up your typical ABW, every office is different. You need to look at how your employees work in order to create the right activity zones. For example, maybe your office is more of a place where employees work together and socialize while other work gets done remotely. Or perhaps most of the functions in your company depend on quiet solo spaces to get work done.
You don't need to conduct a full-scale office renovation to create dedicated spaces at your office. You can simply get creative by moving existing furniture around, or adding a few key pieces.
If a dedicated quiet space is something you've decided your office really needs, a solution such as a modular booth would be a great choice. Brands like our own QUBIC Smart Booths make them in different sizes, from a phone booth for Zoom meetings, to a 5-person pod for a team meeting. These can be furnished with desks, chairs, monitors, tablets, and whatever else you need to get the job done too!
If you think this is what you're looking for, feel free to reach out! We’d be delighted to help.