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Here's Why Companies Are Eliminating Open Offices
Quest WorkspacesJan 11, 2024 1:38:41 PM4 min read

Here's Why Companies Are Eliminating Open Offices

Open offices are almost universally unpopular, and has been the case long before the pandemic. Not only do 16% of people feel like open offices are worsening their health, but 13% have thought about leaving their jobs because of the office design. Unfortunately, despite such unpopularity amongst workers, employers held on due to the belief that open offices were efficient, collaborative, and productive. Now, there's more than enough data to show that this isn't the case. Here are some of the biggest reasons why companies are (and should be) moving away from a 100% open office layout.


1. Open Offices Are Noisy and Full of Distractions

If the primary objective is productivity, a 100% open office environment often fail to deliver. Open space can be distracting for heads down work.. There can be- a lot of noise: people talking, people making calls, typing, coughing, moving around, the list goes on and on. If you're trying to focus on an important task, all the background noise will interfere and continually pull you out of the project. Even headphones and slightly raised cubicle walls may not be enough. 

It can be worse when collaborative productivity is the focus. There may be frequent interruptions and people dropping by with questions. While building community intentionally through conversations in the break room and intentional team-building exercises are great, interruptions are not. As a side drawback, this means answers and decisions are made by word of mouth, with no paper trail.


2. People Don't Have the Closed Doors They Need

Some work absolutely requires a closed door—and not just for executives. Every team needs a closed office option readily accessible so they can:

  • Comfortably make client calls

  • Cold call, especially if they're new to the role and hesitant about being judged

  • One-on-one meetings with team leads

  • Projects that involve having private or sensitive information on the screen for several hours

Many types of work depend on privacy and seclusion. An open office makes this impossible. Trying to compromise by having an insufficient number of closed-door spaces means work will be delayed, and there will be even more frustration.


3. Data and Information Privacy Is More Vulnerable

Organizations across every industry should be concerned about information security. The more layers of digital and physical security you can put in place, the less likely there is to be a costly scandal or a hit to your company's reputation. 

While individual actions taken to protect information—closing tabs, logging out when they walk away, not keeping documents face-up on their desks—are important, they often can not t be relied upon. Anyone walking into the office (whether they're from a different department, they're a prospective client, or they're a third-party technician) can gain access when everything is in one shared space.


4. They Don't Allow for Different Styles of Work

We have known for decades that people work best in different styles. A 100% open work environment ignores alternate workstyles. During the pandemic, however, many office workers were given an opportunity to customize their work setups at home. They could take short walking breaks, stand at their desks, do deep work sessions, and even break their days up into four-hour morning and evening blocks. During one of the hardest times many have every experienced, interestingly, work got better and more productive.

Open offices don't allow this. Having some people stand and move around is distracting. There's nowhere to walk besides the stairwells. Even having pleasant backdrops, such as plants, becomes difficult in an open office. Employers are starting to recognize that ideal workspaces have a significant impact on the quantity and quality of work done, and open offices simply don't make the cut.


5. There Are Too Many Better Options

If there was one benefit of open offices, it's that they were easy to set up. With just long tables, maybe some dividers, and enough office chairs, employees could get to work. Creating an individual office for everyone simply took up too much space, especially since they sat empty over half the day. 

However, options like hybrid offices and office space on demand are opening the door to better workstyles. Organizations or individual professionals can become members of hospitality-driven coworking spaces, gaining access to private offices, meeting rooms, and communal office workspace as needed. The greater variety of options facilitates more productive (and happier) work, and the growth of workspaces offering coworking is making it too convenient to ignore.


Explore Those Better Options by Getting a Day Pass to Hybrid Offices at Quest Workspaces

If you want to eliminate open offices for your team or want to experiment with a greater range of work setups to find your favorite, why not sign up for a FREE day pass at Quest Workspaces. Tour our facilities near Miami or New York to see what modern coworking spaces can offer for your day-to-day operations, and learn more about virtual offices services, different packages, and the community you can find in each office. 

Reach out today to get started.



Quest Workspaces

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