open office trend

“No longer a trend but a standard, the open office has become a symbol of the modern workplace. Building owners can’t afford to waste space, so every nook and cranny must be considered a potential work area.” (Buildings, May 2014.) I would change the words “building owners” to “office users” as it is usually the office tenant paying the landlord rent who is concerned with maximizing space usage. Benching systems, collaborative spaces, glass walls – increased occupancy while leasing a smaller space – the tradeoff of closer co-worker proximity, smaller desks, but the ability to work in different areas, not chained down but mobile and flexible. Other concepts: the open executive office, with managers seated among their subordinates or using glass walls to foster transparency; floating conference rooms, some just large enough for one or two people; the Café Corner, with a bistro atmosphere conducive to people touching down and collaborating; the benching alternative with long tables, headphones for privacy and densities as low as 70 square feet per person.

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