The B2B News Network recently published a post, Open concept vs. cubicles – What’s right for your office? In it the author challenges some of the conventional thinking about cubicles and the open office. She also looks at some interesting installations.
One particularly interesting question was “Is maximizing the use of space to save on real estate costs the biggest priority?”. It’s an important question. Why? Because if you do either an open office floor plan or traditional “cubicle” setup wrong, your workspace can alienate your employees and devastate productivity.
In the article, Cisco is cited as having “found that employees were spending almost 65 percent of their time in meetings, in client locations off-site or working at untraditional hours from home offices. Their sales force was out-of-office for the vast majority of the work day.”
Mix it up
If Cisco had put everyone in a cube farm or rows and rows of open office stations, they would have failed to optimize the space of their high rent real estate. Instead, they used intelligent interior design. They crafted a space where they mixed “cubicles, private meeting rooms and open concept areas with a practice better-known as hot-desking. This practice is where employees can book the type of space they need to complete a specific task for different portions of the day.”
Since most seats would be vacant two-thirds of the time, a traditional design would be wasting space and money. By, not having assigned seats, Cisco was able to put 140 people in the space instead of 88. Today’s mobile devices and laptop computers help make hot-desking possible. Mobile file pedestals can help employees keep personal items secure. They also allow convenient movement to the various spaces they book.
If you own your facility and have lots of space Cisco’s strategy might not be entirely relevant. But all businesses can benefit from having the office furniture and design that is perfectly tailored for them. It isn’t a question of open office vs cubicle. It’s a matter of creating a smart solution that works for you.
Also, see Open Office – friend or foe to your office and Jux open office workstations.