Posted on August 17, 2017

That, dear friends, is the question.

Well, it’s certainly a question at least, but a very important one. A crucial question to ask when it comes to configuring your office space to suit the needs of your business and the employees who have to work within it.

A crucial question when it comes to productivity. To creativity. To work processes. To functionality. To staff wellbeing. In other words, to the day-to-day and long-term success of your business.

Think about how it used to be. Think of the ‘Mad Men’ of the 1950s and 1960s. Well-groomed chaps in sharp suits each working (and enjoying the regular morning Scotch) from behind a desk in their own private office, with a secretary outside. A typing pool of ladies, all quietly sat at individually partitioned desks, hammering away at their typewriters from 9-5. Any collaboration took place in formal, enclosed spaces – organised meetings arranged to fit a schedule.

It worked for them, so maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss all elements of that working system as outmoded or outdated. It’s true that thankfully nowadays the men and women are as Mad as each other and work together (and the Scotch is strictly an after-hours treat). But working processes (and the technologies to support them) have evolved, and so the design, layout and functionality of the spaces in which this work takes place have had to adapt too.

As the 21st Century marches onwards, businesses are operating in a faster, higher-paced and more highly connected environment. The need to foster innovation to stay ahead is paramount; decisions need to be made quicker – which edges towards more collaborative, social and interactive ways of working.

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Open plan offices are tailor made for such ways of working. Discussions can take place on the spot – around circular tables, on sofas, even in kitchen and café areas over breakfast or lunch. WiFi technology enables workers to take their laptops or tablets from room to room to work and converse where they please, while VOIP technology or applications such as Skype enable meetings and conference calls with staff working remotely. Slackers take note however: there are plenty of collaborative and productivity apps available out there to keep everyone on their toes and ensure the necessary work gets done – so no sneaking over to the comfy chairs to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

But what of privacy? What of distraction when the levels of conversation and the need to knuckle down clash? Think back to the cubicles of the Mad Men era. Their design helps to cut distraction to a minimum, enabling staff to work on their own when they need to, and they can be found in a huge variety of aesthetically pleasing modern designs. Modular offices, situated around the open space, enable more intimate, private chats in smaller groups when necessary. If you need to hold a meeting away from the main, open working area, a separate meeting room could be incorporated into your office design, complete with interactive whiteboard technology to enable staff to connect, share and display visual information as appropriate.

At the end of the day, it’s all about what suits your business needs, processes and staff. If you’re looking to change the way your office works, and you’re… well… more open to an open plan way of working, then get in touch with us. We’ve got the experience and the knowhow to design and fit out the perfect office, suited exactly to the way you want to work.

Call us today on 0370 360 2470 or drop us a line to find out how we can help you make the most of your office space.