The Downside of the Open Office Plan
There’s a lot to be said for the open office plan. It’s a great way to utilize a big space and chuck the impersonal cubicles out of the window. The open office plan has gotten a great reputation for being the wave of the future when companies are becoming more transparent with their purpose and their corporate social responsibility goals, the open office space goes hand in hand with unity, transparency and access. No one is hiding behind closed doors, everyone is on equal footing, and as the boss, you have the ability to scout the room and keep an eye on day to day operations.
Open office spaces stifle productivity
Now that we’ve lived with open office plans for a few years, we’ve started to realize that this type of environment might actually be working against us. Yes, it can give a greater sense of camaraderie and provide a natural give and take between you and your team. But, that is also becoming a problem. Productivity is not as great in these offices as we once thought. It turns out that all of this “openness” is actually making us less productive, and more stressed.
The problem with an open office space is that you are always (seemingly) available. Available to answer questions, bounce ideas off of, or help another person. You are also more easily distracted by all conversations and activity going on around you. It turns out that the very things we thought would improve with an open office plan, are actually the things that are hurting us the most.
You need privacy to produce sales
In the insurance industry, you need to sell. In order to sell, you need to be able to focus on your client. This is hard to do when you are sitting in a big room surrounded by activity. Many find that getting in the right frame of mind to produce sales is hard in an open office space, and many find they become more disorganized and frazzled, falling behind on their work because they lack privacy.
It’s hard to produce when there are a million visual and auditory distractions going on around you. Not to mention the big brother effect, where your team is always feeling observed. You cannot be completely comfortable, you can’t be your true self when you feel like you are being watched. The very act of observing something will, in turn, change the behavior of the person being observed. The homey, easy feel of an open office space is supposed to make your team feel comfortable and free, but with all eyes on you at all times, you end up with paranoia, not productivity.
Open your agency with AAI in Colorado
We’ve tried the cubicles and the corner office hierarchy, we’ve tried the open office space of freedom and equality. Now it’s time to take the best of both worlds and create the perfect office space to build your business.