Most workers value private spaces where they can get their work done peacefully, according to a new Clutch survey of 503 full-time employees. More than half of employees (52%) say they want a private office over an open floor plan or cubicle office at work. Offices, however, are trending toward open floorplans. This can distract and frustrate employees who prefer quiet spaces.
“The trend toward open offices continues and is in high demand in spite of employee objections,” said Bethany Babcock, owner of Foresite Commercial Real Estate, a commercial real estate brokerage firm in Texas. “The most common complaint from open office users is frequent interruptions … If a person is in a position that requires focus, it can be irritating and counterproductive.”
Businesses are solving this frustration by providing a variety of in-office spaces to help employees to succeed: Seventy-four percent of offices have personal spaces for employees, 56% have large meeting rooms, 53% have small collaborative spaces, 51% have lounges or break rooms, and 41% have quiet spaces.
Creating multiple types of places to work benefits workers who prefer private office space to get work done quietly, while workers who prefer collaboration have space where they can interact with others.
“I prefer open office layouts that still have access to private spaces for meetings, phone calls, or serious projects,” said Kelsey Davis, content manager at Medicare Plan Finder. “This creates a comfortable work environment where coworkers can socialize but also allows a bit more privacy when it’s needed.”
Working Remotely Is Great, But Not All The Time
Most employees prefer to spend some time in an office (83%) over being fully remote, according to the survey. In-office work helps employees collaborate with coworkers and feel included in the company’s culture.
“Most work-from-home employees I know enjoy knowing there is a spot, even if not a designated spot, for them at the office when needed,” said Babcock. “The alternative sends the message that you belong at home, not here, and this isn’t your office.”
Businesses need to show all employees — both remote and in-office — that they are welcome. This means creating an office space that allows employees to thrive.
“The best offices know how to be comfortable and convenient enough where it encourages employees to be in the office during the workday rather than wanting to be at home doing work,” said Max Falb, a digital marketing strategist at Fueled, a New York City-based mobile app design and development company.