Say Goodbye to Open Plan Office Space

Recent research from both Harvard and Poly (formerly Polycom & Plantronics) has finally proven something that many office workers have always thought; that open plan offices are more distracting and therefore less productive.

In a scientific paper published by Ethan Berstein and Stephen Turban from Harvard, they discovered that as a company moved to an open plan layout the number of face-to-face meetings dropped by 72% and emails and instant messaging to each other increased by 56% and 67% respectively. This is the opposite of what is supposed to happen in an open plan office, with companies adopting them to increase face-to-face collaboration.

In another research piece carried out by Oxford Economics for Poly, they noted that 64% of employees thought that their productivity would increase if they could block out noise. And 52% thought that they would make less errors if they were less distracted by noise.

Whilst an obvious benefit to open plan offices is the reduced real estate required to house staff, is it coming at too much of a negative cost? What can companies do about it, seeing that moving office or rebuilding walls is likely to be too costly or drastic?

Our eBook takes an expert look at what is required to create perfect collaboration in any office using findings from both Gartner and Deloitte. You can read Enterprise Collaboration in the Hyper-Connected Workplace here.

Poly’s answer to the issue is of course their industry leading collaboration products that come equipped with NoiseBlock and Polycom Acoustic Fence; state of the art noise blocking technology that automatically removes distracting background noises and unwanted sounds, allowing more focus whether working on a project by yourself or in a meeting with a team of people. As a platinum Poly partner, Videocall are perfectly placed to introduce you to all the Poly technology, and help you discover the potential benefits it can offer employees.

Employees seemingly want both the ability to focus and work without disruption and have spaces to collaborate as a team. These were the top of their priorities when asked. With most employees having a laptop and or mobile device, having a desk that is allocated as yours may be less necessary than ever before. Instead, ‘hotdesking’ and working from anywhere is deemed a preferred option allowing people to come and go as they please, communicate how they want to. Jumping in and out of huddle spaces for collaboration and working on the move as they go about their day. It’s up to companies to provide the ability for employees to seamlessly connect, wherever, whenever and on whatever service. No easy task to deliver the perfect digital workplace.

Thankfully Videocall have helped many large enterprise companies through this process, delivering successful collaboration outcomes with strategies that involve looking at office spaces and ensuring the technology deployed is the perfect fit for the users and the space. Read our case study on Bupa to see how we helped them move into a new office and maximise their collaboration.  

There is no quick solution to the open plan office if you want the most productive staff, but it looks like we might just be starting to see the end of them as concepts for new designs. If you are looking for answers, new technology and redesigning the space is most likely required to increase employee productivity and happiness. Our eBook will help you through the digital workplace thought process, but having a conversation with one of our experts who can tell you about real world examples could also help. Call us on +44 (0)1276 706 706, email or use the contact forms on the website and get in touch today.