Open space

Open space definition

Open space is an office design model that promotes an open, shared working environment. In an open space, several employees share the same workspace. This model is often used to encourage collaboration, communication and flexibility within the company.

Open spaces have been developing for many years, in all types of companies, from start-ups to major groups, whether or not they practice flex office. These shared offices can also be found in coworking spaces in France and all over the world. They can be rented for a day or even several years, at different prices depending on the number of places reserved.

Generally speaking, open spaces are an integral part of the evolution of working conditions and spaces, as are remote work and the flex office.

Open space features

The organization of open-space offices must respect a particular code, characterized by theabsence of physical partitions between workstations, favoring visibility and direct communication between employees. Workstations are generally arranged in rows or in open groups on a tray, to encourage proximity and spontaneous interaction.

Adequate lighting creates a bright, pleasant environment, while flexible layout allows spaces to be adapted to changing business needs. Accessibility between team members is increased, and meeting room areas as well as individual phone boxes can be set up. Both the design and the furniture are of high quality and specially designed to encourage collaboration.

Together, these features create an open, interactive and adaptable working environment for employees.

Advantages and disadvantages of open space

The advantages

  • Increased collaboration: the absence of partitions encourages communication and collaboration between team members, which can stimulate creativity and the exchange of ideas.
  • Efficient use of space: open space allows optimum use of office space, which can reduce real estate costs for the company.
  • Flexibility: open spaces can be rearranged more easily to adapt to changing business needs.

Disadvantages

  • Lack of privacy: the absence of partitions can lead to a lack of privacy and concentration for some employees, who are used to having their own space.
  • Noise pollution: the ambient noise in an open space can be disturbing for some employees, which can affect their productivity. The creation of different zones, including a quiet corner, seems essential in open spaces.
  • Stress: some employees may experience stress due to constant exposure to their colleagues and the pressure of visible performance. Personalized managerial support may be required.

To sum up

Open space is an office design model that encourages an open working environment. Shared open-plan spaces are often equipped with meeting rooms and offer advantages in terms of collaboration and efficient use of space. But beware of noise pollution and lack of privacy, which can impact on employee productivity.

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