Do you also think interactive workspaces are hampering the productivity of the employees? With the growing importance of an interactive working environment and open-plan office spaces, it is time to review the pros and cons of the concept. If you are also thinking of following the steps of other multinational companies and introducing an interactive office space, give this a quick read to eliminate your doubts.
Interactive and open-plan office space
Before getting into the detailed discussion of an interactive workspace, understand the concept. An interactive workspace or open-plan office is similar to any office, barring the closed-off cubicles. The concept of segmentizing the office space and blocking the view between two consecutive workstations is absent in an interactive workspace. In the open-plan offices, it is common to notice a setup similar to a classroom and community rooms. The seating space is sufficient to fit all employees, and, there is no regulation related to the seating arrangement.
In fact, some offices also introduce craft areas, table tennis setup and lounges to encourage creativity expansion while interacting during working. The primary idea behind the interactive workspaces is to motivate employees to work in collaboration and freely.
Why is it gaining popularity?
Offices all over the world focus on finding better ways to increase productivity. Is the idea of offering an interactive workspace to the employees impact their productivity positively? More offices are shifting to the idea of open-plan workspaces to positively influence the working pace and quality. Following are the advantages of making a workspace interactive –
- Increases team connection: Interactive working spaces do not only promote a cubicle-free working atmosphere. The use of technology in an interactive workspace impacts the workflow positively. Information flow is lucid with better team collaboration scopes. Hence, the overall working pace amplifies in such an open-plan workroom. It creates workspace energy that promotes the urge to work hard and be productive to the company.
- The flexibility of working: An interactive workspace allows an employee to be flexible with their working approach and become comfortable. They can shift spaces and communicate easily. It is a bonus aspect of having team energy in the room and, thus, promotes better productivity. However, it needs close monitoring to ensure optimal focus on work besides team interactions.
- A cost influencing factor: The cost of arranging a proper office setup is more than an interactive workspace. The resources you require to set up a cubicle-based office are more than an open-plan office space. Thus, many companies are shifting to open-plan setups and interactive workspaces to make wise budget decisions.
Does it occupy the mind space?
Productivity depends on the concentration ability of the employee and the energy of the workspace. So, when it comes to making a decision of shifting from a regular workspace to an interactive one, many get confused. Would it be a good decision for the employees or, will it hamper their concentration and eventually reduce productivity?
The answer is subjective and depends on how the employees perceive it. Some employees may produce 2x better work in an interactive working ambience. In contrast, some may face difficulties concentrating and focusing on the work amidst the workspace. You have to keep both cases in mind while deciding. However, the positive aspects are more, compared to the negative impacts of the interactive workspace on the mind space of an employee.
- More energy towards working: The interactive workspace energy is somewhat infectious and compels everyone to work better. It comes from a team and community feeling. Every employee gets more responsible towards their duties and thus, gains clarity of mind. They can discuss and work without making the process monotonous and exhausting.
- Easy to refresh and refocus: Instead of affecting the mind space of the employee, an interactive workspace can help in refreshing their minds. Long working hours and a high-pressure functioning environment can lead to a depressed mindset. It often blocks the employee’s mind and creates brain fog, making it difficult to be productive to their utmost capacity. With an interactive space and collaborative working environment, it gets easy for an employee to take a swift break between work. Thus, it clears the brain clutter and assists in refocusing.
- Productivity increases with better interaction: Solving work-related confusions or problems get easy in an interactive workspace. Team collaboration makes the decision-making aspects swift. The technology-rich interactive workspaces help enhance the working pace in more than one way. Thus, the productivity of the employees amplifies with better interaction and team collaboration.
It depends on how you manage!
As discussed earlier, the mind space disturbance depends on how your employees adapt to the interactive environment. It is also the responsibility of the HR and employer to look after the concerns. You can regulate the interaction limits and thus balance the pros and cons. Bring work time regulation and policies to enhance productive interaction and eliminate unnecessary disturbances. In the end, every workspace environment and employee group are unique and require unique solutions. Analyze the pros and cons of interactive workspace by keeping the employee dynamics and work type in mind.
Communicate to understand the impact
Communicate with your employees to understand their take on the interactive workspace. This way, you can get a clarified viewpoint of the group of employees you are concerned with. You can also conduct workshops for making them understand how an interactive workspace functions in reality. Thus, you will also find out whether the interactive workplace or open-plan working ambience is affecting their mind space or not.
Final note – Think futuristic!
Try different ways to increase the productivity of employees and introduce a new workspace set up to review. It will help the employees to work in dynamic working environments and influence their productivity. It can be a fruitful step or a bad one! But without trying, you cannot determine the effectiveness. Interactive workspaces are getting more popular and, the future will see the rise of such workspaces. Think one step ahead and plan!