Workplace Wars: To Cube or Not to Cube

How to Address the Open Floor Plan Argument

The open office floor plan is a hot topic. Open spaces can encourage collaboration and conversation and can build workplace relationships — things that make people look forward to coming in every day. But open floor plans also create a lack of privacy — specifically sound privacy — something crucial for certain meetings. People thrive in a space with high energy and in which they are encouraged to talk, but they require space to hunker down for three hours of uninterrupted work.

So how can a company choose the environment that’s best for their team?

Watch their behavior. Which spaces are used most and for which tasks and which are nearly always empty? See where people gravitate to converse — on both a personal and a professional level — and where they go to work. In which environments do people feel free to get up, walk around, and to take healthy breaks?

Remember that the layout will set the tone of the office. Determine whether a proposed layout will facilitate a culture that people will want to be a part of.