Over the past 18 months, we’ve seen several articles in various publications hinting that the “open space office concept” is a failed or failing experiment. They cite cultural challenges, poor work environment and productivity decreases as a result of the use of this concept. Our experience, however, is that open office is an excellent concept to use, depending on when and how it’s implemented as a workplace strategy.
To start at the beginning, today’s office space has drastically changed. Instead of thinking about a sea of workstations depicted in movies like “9 to 5” and “Office Space,” today’s office might be seen as more of an integration of layered neighborhoods serving different functions. Perhaps a better name than “open” office would be “blended” office. That’s because today we can offer a host of new spaces that better fit the way we live and work in today’s office environment. In addition, we can layer in older workplace strategies that still remain relevant today. To understand today’s modern office dialogue, it’s helpful to start with an appreciation of what is powering this change. The largest driving factor is mobile technology.