The open office concept has taken a bit of a beating as of late, with plenty of news stories quoting workers less than thrilled with the lack of privacy that comes with such layouts. But the truth? Plenty of employees are happy with open offices, as long as their companies tweak the layouts a bit.
A new survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults commissioned by Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates found that nearly three-quarters of employees would be comfortable working working in an open office if the layout provided more private space and generated less noise.
The survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll, found that 74 percent of adults would not be opposed to working in an open office if they had access to a private space such as phone rooms or small work areas. The survey found, too, that 73 percent would be OK with an open office if noise and distraction were limited.
In fact, private and quiet spaces rank higher for employees than do team-meeting spaces. Only 66 percent of adults said they would be OK working in an open office if there were large meeting spaces or conference rooms available. The survey also reported that 52 percent of adults said they would not be comfortable working in an open office if it meant that mutiple workers would be clustered in one office or workspace.
Charlie Young, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, said that the survey is an important one for the affiliates that Coldwell Banker serves.
“It’s important for commercial building designs to accommodate a variety of working styles and the more we know what workers want – in this case, an open office with private spaces and limited noise – the better our affiliates can help clients locate the right space for their people,” Young said in a statement.
What are some other key findings of the report?
63 percent of U.S. working adults said their office could better utilize its physical space, with 30 percent saying their office could benefit from a better floor plan.
Nearly all respondents – 88 percent – cited certain features would be helpful to have located within the workplace or office location, with the most common amenities including onsite food options, parking and outdoor spaces. 59 percent would find it useful to have a food court, cafeteria or restaurant, while 57 percent cite having enough parking.
A smaller proportion, 37 percent, would find it helpful to have outdoor lounging spaces at the workplace.