Advantages of an open plan office layout

February 2017

Some 20 years ago, it was the norm for businesses to separate their offices into different departments, with smaller office spaces and dedicated working areas separated by long corridors. Fast forward two decades and this has changed completely. Gone are the days of old fashioned offices with endless corridors and cramped work spaces. In 2017 more and more companies are tearing down the partition walls and are opting for bright open plan spaces.

It is widely reported that some 70% of all offices now have an open floor plan, as companies begin to understand the benefits in terms of the collaborative and creative nature of the space, and its ability to boost productivity and staff harmony.

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Some 20 years ago, it was the norm for businesses to separate their offices into different departments, with smaller office spaces and dedicated working areas separated by long corridors. Fast forward two decades and this has changed completely. Gone are the days of old fashioned offices with endless corridors and cramped work spaces. In 2017 more and more companies are tearing down the partition walls and are opting for bright open plan spaces.
It is widely reported that some 70% of all offices now have an open floor plan, as companies begin to understand the benefits in terms of the collaborative and creative nature of the space, and its ability to boost productivity and staff harmony.

A lack of walls, doors or other physical barriers in open plan office spaces makes it easier for employees to interact with each other on a regular basis, promoting the flow of communication among employees. Friendships amongst colleagues will also be strengthened, which will make them more inclined to work effectively together.

Open plan allows businesses to create a collaborative working environment where new ideas can be generated and shared. Having an open space also makes it easier for both employees and management. Proximity of other staff members allows for minor issues or queries to be dealt with efficiently, without the need for a formal meeting. There is no need for people to search around individual offices in the hopes of trying to track anybody down and things are easier for managers as everyone is in a centralised area.

Overall, open plan is a highly flexible solution that caters to the ever-changing working environment. However, just as businesses are changing to accommodate new working practices, the world of office desks is changing faster than ever before.

Whereas elaborate executive desks and sizeable corner desks were once needed to accommodate a large monitor, a chunky desktop computer, possibly a printer and to store folders, paperwork, stationery, and the rest – things have now changed significantly.

Today people are working with laptops, flat screen monitors, MacBooks or tablets, with wireless technology and digital working. The general shift towards a paper-less office has also led to a reduction in the amount of paper used by offices and the amount of storage needed by employees. Improved accessibility also allows different departments to share resources such as printers, copiers, communal office supplies and more.

Bench desks suit the modern working environment
Increasingly, businesses are moving away from dedicated single employee workspaces, towards more flexible working environments, and bench desk solutions are the ideal solution for high density open plan work places.

Using bench desks enables businesses to accommodate more office workers in the same amount of space. Enabling people to work side by side and facing each other with bench desks it is possible to fit an extra 30-35% extra employees in the same space compared to using ergonomic or wave desks. And by fitting more people in their existing offices, businesses don’t have to invest in additional space when they grow and take on new employees.

Connex modular bench desk solution
As bench solutions are becoming more popular and mainstream in open plan offices, Dams have developed the Connex bench desking range, which is the ideal modular system for high density, open plan work spaces.

Connex bench desking is based on one principle – simplicity. The design of bench desks means that they are modular, so businesses can easily expand working space to accommodate expansion and new employees. With its clean lines and elegant form, Connex offers a choice of classic tried and tested configurations from a single desk to hundreds of workstations in a wide variety of sizes to fit any office space.

Connex offers a clean and minimal look to the workplace. The legs are shared between bench clusters, which not only look aesthetically pleasing, but save space and effectively reduce the overall cost. The simple design of bench desking also allows for other shared components such as screens and cable trays, reducing the quantity of all items required and resulting in significant cost savings.

With the option of adding colourful divider screens to personalise work areas, bench desks can refresh and liven up even the more traditional workspaces. And although they have an open appearance, bench desks don’t need to mean a mass of cables or wires on show. Bench desks in general incorporate very effective shared cable management, ensuring a clean look to the office and making it much easier to clean and vacuum under desks.

With Connex, horizontal and vertical cable management allows cables to rise up from the floor via single leg and mass cable risers, which improves office aesthetics and safety. Each desktop has two cable access ports in the 25mm tops allowing wires to pass directly through to the cable tray and risers to ensure complete cable control.

Assembly per cluster is quick and easy through its highly engineered parts which further increase the system’s functionality and flexibility. Bench desks are designed so that devices can be moved on and off in a few seconds. This makes hot desking where employees can simply plug in their laptops and start work, or changing seating rearrangements in the office comparatively simple and hassle free.

In conclusion, mention open plan to office workers and usually you will get a few grumblings in return, typically about general noise or distractions around the office. However there is no doubt open plan offices are here to stay, so the question should be how do we make them more productive for employees and businesses?

Bench desking isn’t just about saving businesses money, it keeps the environment of the office consistent allowing managers and colleagues to sit together which leads to improved communication and employees performing better. Connex bench desking from Dams is robust enough to cope with the rigours of a busy office and is the ideal modular system for high density office spaces.



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