Can Boomers and Gen X’ers Embrace the Open Office?
We hear so much about the Millenials, but what about the Boomers and Gen X’ers? Is it fair to ask an established employee at your company to embrace the open office after spending a decade or two behind three walls? Imagine the assault of sites and sounds to someone thrust from a corner office onto a 30 x 60 bench with 7 other people? It’s probably the time of year, but I am reminded of a scene from a Dracula movie where they are dragging the monster into the bright light of day and he shrinks from the pain. Mentally, this is what may be happening to your employees and the affect it has on their productivity should give you pause.
Here are some questions you may want to ask BEFORE you migrate to an open office…
1. Is there adequate space? Look around your office layout and consider the walls and line of sight. If employees are crammed into a small space, minus walls and with little horizontal and vertical space, they will feel exposed and productivity could take a serious hit. Consider using low-partitions in order to give employees some visual privacy..
2. Are you moving everyone out of their private office, you included? Many Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers have worked hard over the years and one of the marks of their business achievements and value is their private office space. When putting everyone back on an equal playing field in an open office, tread lightly and consider leading by example.
3. Have you done your research? Be sure to gain insight on the differing views of all the generations affected by the open office switch. Check out this study conducted by Knoll. It’s a good start and shows the differences in priorities. They interviewed 15,500 employees about work space value and important features. You should also research companies that have already made the switch and learn from their mistakes. LifeSize, a video-conferencing tech company in Austin recently revamped their office with millenial-friendly perks in order to attract talent.
Designing the new office for all employees by providing work space options will create a cohesive and successful work environment. As with any change at the office, you may lose some employees during the transition, however, if your change management strategy is effective and you prepare by asking yourself the right questions, it will be a minimum impact to your overall business.
ROSI Office Systems, Inc. specializes in FREE space planning and can help you determine the effectiveness of an open office plan. REcube, our custom-built recycled work stations can include any height partition and are highly cost-effect compared to new work stations. Contact Us to begin planning your new office whether you need office furniture in Houston, traditional office cubicles or open space office work stations, we’re here to help!