The Not So Open Plan

imageMaking the change from cubicles to open plan office environments is a major shift for any organization. Two of the biggest concerns we often hear from clients are related to retaining sufficient storage and privacy. When shifting to more densified, open environments, the application of multi-functional solutions, such as storage elements that provide separation or privacy, can help address these concerns.

One main motivator behind this densification is the desire among companies to reduce their real estate portfolios, which leads them to look at the most efficient practices for working with less space. Corporate real estate and facilities managers ask how they can give their employees the tools to be productive, collaborative and focused, while reducing their allotment of space per person. One effective solution is to utilize furniture that serves multiple purposes, to create division and provide extra surface space; we call this, “storage as separation.”imageIn addition to space reductions, there has been a rise in corporate social responsibility initiatives, which include sustainability and LEED certification strategies. These often translate to open furniture plans, which have inherent sustainability benefits because they use fewer materials. Open furniture plans also minimize or eliminate such elements as panels, walls, and high storage that tend to obstruct lines of sight and access to natural light. As a result of these programs, more employees are sitting in the open environment, with senior management joining them outside their private offices.

By adding tailored privacy panels or storage units to Innovant’s workstations, privacy can be achieved with full utility and an enhanced aesthetic impact. What results is a “not so open plan” environment that balances privacy and interaction in the workplace.