Dear all,

what’s the best office layout? As everybody seems to be moving offices these days (my wife’s company, yesterday’s client, …) it seems about time to revisit office layouts.

With increasing digitalization, more and more companies appear to try and model their dwellings after the fancy open plan offices of big tech companies. That way supposedly increasing communication and communal intelligence – while also saving square footage.

The scientifically proven fact however is, as Inc. Magazine reports, that open space offices reduce face to face communication by 70% and increase email traffic by anywhere between 22% and 50%. If you’re still doubtful, here’s the original study published by no one less than the Royal Society!

This Quartz article by workplace strategy company Humanyze’s CEO Ben Waber advocates shifting work environment based on context. He asserts that for times of increased interactions, open spaces will be more effective, while for periods of intensely focused work small private spaces may make more sense.

Gensler Research Institute’s 2019 US Workplace survey shows that environments that are mostly open but provide ample on-demand private space produce both the highest effectiveness as well as experience scores. The study also found amenities that connect directly to people’s most salient workplace needs and preferences (e.g. quiet/focus zones, work cafes) to deliver the greatest additional positive impact. Time to finally ditch that soccer table!

Whatever the layout – leave the office soon and enjoy another sunny weekend!