Design and Construction

How an Office Space Impacts Employee Experiences

A recent study by Clutch revealed that the majority of employees prefer private offices to open floor plans or cubicles.

Businesses save a significant amount of money with open floor plans versus private offices, though, and many believe the open environment contributes to an atmosphere of community and collaboration. In this article, we explore how to create office spaces that cater to the wants and needs of employees so you can create an office layout that improves employee satisfaction.

Modern office with an open floor plan

Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock.com

Are Open Office Layouts Beneficial?

Many businesses provide open office work areas where employees work in one large room without walls.

Facebook put open office layouts in the spotlight in 2012 when Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s intention to build what he described as “one giant room that fits thousands of people, all close enough to collaborate together.”

Google and other tech companies followed suit, and today, many businesses believe that an open environment contributes to a heightened sense of community and collaboration.

A 2018 study by Harvard Business School, though, surprisingly found that open office layouts reduce face-to-face interaction among employees by more than 70%. Many businesses believe there are strong financial incentives to open office floor plans because of reduced construction costs, heating and cooling expenses, and equipment costs. Several scientific studies, however, prove that open office layouts do not cut costs because they reduce employee productivity and increase employee health risks.

How to Create an Office Layout that Satisfies Employees

There are many ways to create spaces that help employees look forward to coming to work, even if you already have an open office layout. Personal spaces, large meeting rooms, small collaborative spaces, and places to relax are some examples of office spaces that meet employees’ needs. For example, Capital One Financial provides an open layout that includes spaces where people can meet privately or work quietly.

More than half of employees also value work spaces that are appealing, comfortable, and flexible.

Fostering a community atmosphere can also help encourage communication and collaboration. One company that strives to provide different types of spaces plus a community atmosphere is Blizzard Activision, a top-tier video game development company. Blizzard encourages community engagement and employee satisfaction by providing office perks such as:

  • An indoor fitness center
  • Basketball and volleyball courts
  • An on-site library of games, books, and movies
  • A Blizzard museum

Blizzard offices reflect the culture of its products while providing comfort and encouraging community gatherings.

Companies that want to create office layouts that increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover may consider:

  • Providing private offices or quiet work areas for employees who need to concentrate
  • Fostering a sense of community through office perks and off-site activities
  • Providing comfortable social and meeting spaces

Balancing Community and Productivity

The layout of your office can affect your employees’ health, happiness, and productivity. When planning your office layout, consider alternatives to open office designs, and create other options for cultivating a sense of collaboration and community.

alt link text Kristen Herhold is a Senior Content Developer for Clutch, the leading platform for business-to-business (B2B) research and reviews. She is responsible for curating research about office space and real estate companies.