It is often said that open offices can lead to higher productivity due to increased concentration because there are no distractions or interruptions, noises, etc. but what about collaboration? When doors are shut, a window opens, and you may see entries as safe or some things you can hide behind or feel more comfortable in your own space. But we at BURST truly believe that having a window instead of a door is key if you want to make your staff feel at home. This while still having areas, lounges, and places where you can be productive but also chill and vibe if you need a break.
The truth about open offices
When two Fortune 500 companies switched from cubicles to open offices, face-to-face interactions fell by 70% and were compensated with digital communication, but why? A French philosopher, Denis Diderot, suggests that we tend to create a “fourth wall” for ourselves. This term is taken from the world of performers on stage. They imagine a huge wall across the front of the stage, separating them from the audience. They behave exactly as if the curtain had never risen. It prevents actors from being distracted by the audience. Just like colleagues don’t want to be distracted by other colleagues or things like surrounding sounds when working intently.
This phenomenon is seen in many businesses when they switch to an open office. It sounds strange because when the office is open. Why not communicate more with your colleagues face-to-face to discuss projects or designs? If you see someone working intensely, you’re not going to interrupt someone. But for whatever reason, you start a conversation, and a colleague shoots you a look of annoyance, you won’t do it again. So this is how the “fourth wall” is created.
Living in a huge living room
It’s no secret that customer relationships are important, and therefore building trust is a crucial part of doing business. More importantly, in B2B sales, the focus has been shifting from selling products or services to selling solutions. Trust plays a tremendous role in marketing. Trust is built and rewarded by those who listen to their customer’s needs and create solutions to meet their needs.
Ultimately we at BURST let our staff choose the spaces that best meet their individual needs. Whether that’s working in the office or remotely. The challenge for companies will remain to find a balance between having a productive workspace and creating an ambiance that feels like home.