Writing for Real Estate Weekly, Richard Hayes recently pondered the pros and cons of “downsizing” an open office to a smaller size. While keeping everyone in a single room poses undeniable challenges, it reportedly leads to more than $2 million in savings during one year alone for Class A workspace.
The key to getting the most out of the open office, according to Hayes, depends upon the research, planning and support that goes into creating a successful layout.
For example, one of the approaches Hayes references is “hot desking,” where desks are up for grabs rather than being assigned to specific people. Another, “hotelling,” uses a similar system but allows workers to “reserve” space in advance. which is especially useful for companies that see a rotating staff of workers from different sites.
“If configured properly, the open office can potentially remove the inefficiencies from the office environment,” he said. “It is imperative that, as an employer, you perform a time-motion study and have a firm understanding of both the work habits and population of your current work environment before embarking on a transition to the open space configuration.”
The Harvard Business Group chronicled an example of a company testing out the open office. The Bridgespan Group condensed all of its workers from two floors to one, and in the process created not just an open office but a space with several subsections for different functions, including a lab, special “library” and conference rooms. Paul Rosenberg and Kelly Campbell say that the changes in layout have led to improvements in interdepartmental relations.
With the help of used office workstations, your company will make testing out a new desk configuration simple and cost-effective.