Nowadays, a lot of office buildings have open-space floor design without barriers or walls. Do you think the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?
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In recent years, the open office layout has been embraced by a vast number of organizations and companies such as Facebook and Google. From my perspective, the merits of this are overshadowed by its adverse impacts on employees’ productivity, morale and well-being.
Admittedly, open-plan offices might facilitate the flow of communication in an organization. When there are no walls or barriers, employees may gain a deeper sense of belonging. They are more likely to be open to new ideas and different perspectives, as well as more willing to engage in face-to-face discussions, which is crucial in teamwork. In addition, they would feel a greater sense of fairness when their managers and directors also share the same work space with them.
However, I believe the mentioned benefits of an open office are outweighed by its demerits. A major drawback is that employees working in such spaces might be deprived of their right to privacy. Their coworkers may easily intrude their little space or make loud noises, making it hard for them to concentrate. Their individual performance, therefore, will suffer, leading to the whole team’s lower productivity and efficiency.
Another significant downside of this office design is that it may demotivate employees and increase their health risks. An open-plan office can put employees under unnecessary pressure since their work station and what they are doing are constantly exposed to everyone else. Furthermore, their schedule tends to be closely tied to that of their colleagues. Even if they have finished all their tasks, they might try to linger in the office until their superiors and other workers leave. This will eventually undermine their morale and jeopardize their mental well-being. Not to mention, those working in an open office are highly likely to be infected with dangerous diseases such as the Covid-19.
In conclusion, I believe the detrimental impacts of an open-plan office are far more significant than its potential benefits. Employers should weigh them carefully before implementing such a plan.
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