Open plan offices are not a new concept and there are many arguments for and against them. Siemens LLC have been stationed in Dubai’s Internet City since 2003, but have announced their plans to move out of the area they currently occupy and move to a larger facility in The Galleries at Downtown Jebel Ali, Dubai. They announced that they also plan to incorporate a new open plan office to help increase employee productivity through interaction. Not only this, but they plan to provide ergonomic furniture to all their staff from monitor arms and laptop stands to ergonomic chairs.
As previously outlined, there are arguments for and against open plan offices. Some advantages of having an open plan office is that they can save on office space. By this it means that you can have large configurations of desks in one area. Bench desk systems and have become more and more popular in recent years due to the fact that they save space and still look modern and aesthetically pleasing. Bench systems also create an environment where employees can interact and work in teams so lend themselves to communication.
Noise pollution has become a hot topic in the office as studies have shown that noise in the office can be directly linked to stress. It has been said that open plan offices can actually increase noise pollution, but recent studies have concluded that this may not be the case. Constant noise such as telephones or printers etc… may increase in volume around the office, but employees tend to subconsciously speak quietly as they are aware that they are on show.
Some also say that with open plan offices, there is a breakdown of authority in the office. This is due to the fact that managers don’t have their own offices. I personally don’t think that this is such a disadvantage as from the managers perspective they can oversee what is going on in the office.
Even with the argument for and against open plan offices, there is no denying that these are on the increase and the way we used to work in offices is set to change.