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Why Your Open Office Needs To Go (and how sliding doors can help)

Have you considered sliding doors for your office? The era of open offices as a plethora of collaboration, communication, and higher productivity is about to come to an end.

ditch your office

We can’t really blame companies for choosing to hype and bet on this set-up as it definitely cuts down on their costs. No dividers means you can swamp as many employees as you can in a given space compared to when walls are existing. But it also means loss of money in terms of employee productivity and wellness.

“To our knowledge, no prior study has directly measured the effect on actual interaction that results from removing spatial boundaries to create an open office environment,” – Ethan S. Bernstein and Stephen Turban

Less collaboration

One study used sociometric badges and location sensors to further study how people tend to move around in office spaces. By the end of the eight-week study, it was concluded that an open space definitely impacts the quality and frequency by which people collaborate in their offices; but not in the way we originally think. As a matter of fact, the study proved the opposite. According to the study, social interactions are decreased by 70% in an open office where emails go the opposite direction spiking from 20 to almost 50%.

Since open spaces tend, if not literally, take away each employees sense of privacy, the result is make an extra effort to keep to themselves and maintain the very little privacy that an open office affords them. So instead of collaborating, people became more “shy” as they felt like everyone was always keeping an eye on them. According to the results, an open-plan office drives people just use email and instant messaging more than actually chatting in person. Though not an entirely negative thing, it definitely debunks the idea that an open-plan office encourages more collaboration.

According to Fastcompany, an open-plan office also has the added perk of making a company appear *air quotes* innovative, even if they could be the farthest thing from it.

Distracted employees, less productivity

Another study conducted in 2018, showed that open offices are gravely distracting not only for the scattered and ever-moving visuals but also in terms of acoustics. The study showed that 65% of creative people need quiet or absolute silence for them to execute their jobs to the fullest. Open –office plans will drive these creative crazy as every phone call, sneeze and chatter can be heard from everywhere.

Sexism and covert bullying

This next thing might surprise you, but open-offices have actually been reported to make sexism and bullying worse, especially for women. In general, office workers felt immense pressure from the fact that they were in open air and can be watched by anyone, any time, every time. There was a pressure to always keep appearances, whether it was in terms of clothing, posture and even “looking busy”. Feeling like someone was always watching them added to employees’ anxieties and stress.

The case is worse for women. This thing somehow blew up on social media where women from everywhere posted their experiences in open-space offices. Having absolute transparency and a great increase in visibility allowed men to somehow closely observe their female workmates and in the process, rank them according to their sexual and physical attractiveness.

In general studies have shown that open-plan offices make workers distracted, hostile and insecure. Likelihood of high blood pressure, stress, flu and exhaustion all rise up. Studies also show that people who get interrupted repeatedly, whether intentionally or not make 50% more mistakes and take twice the time to finish a certain task. Now how is that for your company efficiency?

Of course, open-space plans are definitely budget savers. However, looking at the long run, are we actually saving or are we deteriorating the very thing that makes our capital roll – our employee’s wellbeing?

Striking the Perfect Balance

Cain writes, “The New Groupthink has overtaken our workplaces, our schools and our religious institutions. Anyone who has ever needed noise-canceling headphones in her own office or marked an online calendar with a fake meeting in order to escape yet another real one knows what I’m talking about.”

So how about we strike a balance? Sliding doors are perfect for offices as they provide the absolute privacy when required. Some of our doors are excellent for office acoustics. We are able to customize your sliding door just for you. Sliding doors easily slide down to provide you with an uninterrupted space perfect for healthy collaborations and as we have said again and again, our doors are space-saving. Maintenance is a breeze and our doors are also pretty portable. You are sure to make the most out of your purchase if ever you need to fly to another home. The science behind our doors and the mechanisms that we use are patented and are a product of intensive research through the years. Our ultimate goal is to provide indoor glass solutions to the modern office and home with our smoothest sliding doors at great factory prices.