Learning to love your open plan office takes some ingenuity and willingness to set some new goals for yourself and how you work. If you are still struggling with the shift from traditional to open plan office, you may think there is just no way out. But there are some creative things you can do to make it work for you. Open plans work very well for extroverts and creative teams that thrive on social interaction and idea-sharing to get things done. But the introverts in the accounting department, who can be easily overwhelmed by stimuli and who need alone time to recharge and stay focused, might be silently struggling with the free-range workplace.
Attracting and keeping top talent is as competitive as ever with the multitude of options available to highly skilled job seekers. Flexible opportunities, remote working and the perks of an intention-driven workforce are forcing the change. Competing for talent in this environment requires businesses to understand a new generation of workers that want the benefits of the job to coincide with their values. Creating an attractive space for recruitment requires managers to think outside the traditional box and carefully consider the perks their company can offer to entice top talent into their team.
Workbench technology is an enduring workplace tradition, for many good reasons. Benching systems are a simple, efficient, straightforward and adaptable. From the crude wood tables used for centuries by artisans and craftspeople to today’s sleek and technology-infused versions for knowledge workers, benching is a concept that’s continuing to evolve to meet a wide variety of workplace needs. In North America, the trend toward benching has been catching on fast because it’s a hard-working solution that addresses converging business realities.
What if your office suddenly went from private to out in the open? What would be the biggest change you could imagine from the open office experience? How would you prepare and adapt your tasks? This begs the question: is the open plan office destroying workplace culture? A hundred questions and scenarios could begin coursing through your brain about coping in such an exposed situation where productivity is still paramount. In its effort for progress, it is becoming quite clear that the collaborative culture may have derailed itself with distraction.
The absolute certainty in life and worklife is change. Finding inventive ways to adapt to the demands of the evolving workspace starts with a flexible design. Setting a foundation for the adaptable workspace will give your office an edge and allow you to continue evolving along with your team. Designing ahead of the change will give you longterm flexibility.
The office without an office has become an increasingly disturbing phenomenon. You may work in an office where management is scrambling to increase density in the workspace, or you may have heard an in-the-trenches story from a friend whose cubicle shrank in size overnight or disappeared altogether to be replaced by an open workbench. These anecdotes are part of a real trend. The usual amount of square footage per employee has gone from 400 square feet in 1985 to 250 square feet today.
Workbenches for craftsmen have been around for centuries. You can find them in 19th-century photos of labs and factories. Thomas Edison had dozens of them for his workers. While cubicles and more traditional desks were the dominant work surface of the 20th century, the need to maximize office space and foster a collaborative environment, as well as the overall practicality of the design, means that the workbench is back. Most people call these modern workbenches “Benching Systems.”