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The open office trend seems like a win-win situation, particularly if you are an extrovert, the sort of person who gets energized by talking to other people. However, while extroverts might thrive in this collaborative and busy environment, your introverted employees are more likely to struggle to maintain their productivity and workplace satisfaction. If you’re noticing several of your employees fighting to meet deadlines and quotas or looking constantly exhausted in the office, you may need to take a second look at your layout to make sure you have an office design that works for introverts as well as it does for extroverts.
Just as leadership style needs to be adjusted for the unique needs of a department, office design should be adjusted to accommodate these leadership styles. Here are just a few ways you can adjust your department’s office design to match your leadership style.
Laissez-Faire Leadership Style
The laissez-faire leadership style is one of the most laid-back styles a manager can implement. This style delegates most of the responsibility for completing quality work to individual employees, with little supervision and interference from the manager. It is one of the most difficult management styles to perform successfully, and requires the greatest amount of trust of any leadership style. In the right environment, however, the laissez-faire leadership style can be very effective.
Office Design Trends to Be Avoided
Office design trends, once primarily a feature of the worlds of fashion and home design, have moved increasingly into the office space. People look to hip, successful companies like Google and see their unusual office designs, often featuring amenities like slides, free snacks, and game rooms. Articles are written equating the success of these companies to their unique environments, or listing the trendy amenities that will attract young millennial workers to your office. While features like slides and in-office daycare facilities aren’t possible for many companies, other easy-to-add features like colorful walls, game rooms, and open office plans have become commonly adopted trends.
While a good office design is an essential feature to encourage employee satisfaction and productivity, what defines “good design” is more about the specific needs of your company than it is about current office design trends. Chasing office design trends is at best an inefficient use of time and money, and at worst a colossal waste of funds with a powerfully negative effect on productivity. Before you embrace a trend, take the time to think about how it will really work in your office.
Does Your Company Run on Collaboration or Concentration?
Out of all the office design trends, none has taken off more ubiquitously than the open office design. It’s not hard to see why. The big, open spaces look far more modern than the cubicles we’ve come to associate with the traditional office. Natural light from office windows is no longer impeded by tall cubicle walls, making the space seem bright and fresh. Employees can mingle easily and share ideas. And, let’s face it, it’s a lot cheaper to fill your office with more people when you have an open floor plan.
Transparency in the workplace manifests itself in several ways. Regularly sharing open and honest information about company performance and goals, providing regular feedback and updates on projects, and creating a safe space for employees to share concerns and ideas are all important aspects of a transparent workplace. Even some of the “fluffier” work trends, like casual dress codes and flexible schedules, are a manifestation of this desire for transparency at work. At its heart, the demand for workplace transparency is an expression of the need for trust, respect, and understanding. Employees devote a huge percentage of their prime years to the workplace, so it should be no surprise that in return they are now asking to be treated as trusted adults with human needs, rather than as professional simulacra simply there to perform a job.
Turn your cubicle into a gingerbread house
Love them or hate them, cubicles have played a big role in the life of the white-collar American for 50+ years, with no signs of slowing. In the beginning, cubicles were invented to 1) maximize floor space and, 2) give employees their own little slice of office to call their own.
Basically, the cubicle was an invention born from our innate desire to control our workspace. Lecturer at Leeds University Business School and workspace design specialist, Dr. Matthew Davis points out that, “We have a really innate instinct about space and making things our own.”
The Great Debate: Open Offices vs. Cubicle Farms
Cubicles have been the basis of inter-office debates for years now. Some say they waste space and have the potential to stifle creativity, and prefer an open workplace environment. However, there’s a lot of research out there showing that open office plans can actually be disruptive to individuals’ focus, morale and health, for introverts especially. So how do you decide on the perfect office layout for your company’s needs?
The key to choosing the right type of workspace design, elements and layout depend on a number of factors, but the most important one you’ll want to pay attention to is balance. Keeping the wants and needs of your employees in mind will help you strike that perfect balance between privacy and proficiency.
The modern workspace has undergone some big changes over the past few years thanks to the rise of coworking spaces, desk sharing and virtual offices. But no matter how far we stray from the traditional office layout, the cubicle remains, though it too has undergone some serious evolution.
If you’re wondering what type of cubicle to consider for your office, or if you want to learn a little more about the most common piece of modern office furniture, keep on reading!
So you’re in the market for office cubicles. Before you run out and buy just any old set, do a little research. Office furniture says a lot about a company.
No, we’re not talking about research on which fabric for the conference room chairs best complements the CEO’s favorite tie or what type of decorative fern can survive the longest without being watered.
When it comes to purchasing cubicles, size does matter. Wall size, that is.
Here’s the low-down (or the high-up) on the three types of cube heights and what they say about your organization.
Most of us slog away at our keyboards, hidden away in generic burlap office cubicles, with no idea of any other work environment. The folks at Pixar are here to ruin that for you, by showing you what their employees think is normal office life. How cool is their daily grind? Picture rooms full of cereal, with cartoon characters at every turn, and ping-pong tables fighting foosball tables for the most-fun office furniture award.