Open offices are widely used layouts, so entrepreneurs and office managers in Los Angeles should know how to use open plan workstations to enhance and improve communication.
An office design has to make sense. It takes the pieces of what makes an environment work and brings them into a unified whole. A cohesive design acknowledges the separate entities that interact. Leadership sets the tone and pace, administration supervises the flow of cash and people, while the technical talent and workers make the products and provide the services.
Open plan workstations fit the needs of a variety of for-profit industries and non-profit organizations. Small teams working within larger companies can use open plan workstations in clusters or pods. A creative team working at a mid-size PR firm in Santa Monica can have one designated area for working while account managers can have their own area. A robust non-profit can have admin centered around one style of workstations while the program team can operate in a distinct, designated area using workstations that have a completely different style.
Sharing ideas face to face is an important form of collaboration. An open plan workstation gives team members chances to have conversations and focus on the ideas that matter. The design and spacing has to work in everyone’s favor.
Critics say that open offices killed collaboration. Reseacher Ethan Bernstein of the Harvard Business School (HBS) tracked workers who moved from cubicles to an open office setting and found that they tried to avoid collaboration rather than seek it out. In a July 2018 article for HBS, The Open Office Revolution has Gone Too Far, Bernstein says that workers who have a constant audience may try hard to look busy, put on headphones and avoid interaction.
Open plan workstations aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach. A variety of configurations are available to match personalities and departmental demands. The Synapse Open Plan Benching by Deskmakers is straight-forward while the Crossroads Workstation is a “revolutionary take on office furniture systems.” Smart planning will configure workstations to allow for collaboration when necessary and provide space for individuals to focus.
Office communication is much more than one employee talking to another. Communication includes emails, keeping company social media accounts up to date, and phone calls with vendors, clients and potential new clients.
A growing office is a buzzing place. How do you keep the communication in its proper channels? In an open office, a space without walls, departments can have their own open plan workstations in well-defined areas. In the center of the floor, create a place for phone calls or in-person conferences using modular walls and focused meeting pods. Shared equipment like copiers can be off to one side that’s easily accessible by each area.
An open office can be a vibrant place that attracts top talent when it’s laid out effectively. Use open plan workstations to not only improve office communication but also support specific goals and objectives.
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