The typical office environment has changed greatly over the years, from the people working in them, to the technology used within them, and even they way in which they are arranged.
The set up of a majority of modern day offices varies greatly to what we have seen over the years, with several different popular phases having swept the world often influencing these mass changes, but there has always been an ongoing debate as to which office set up can offer the most benefits when weighed up compared to the negatives they can bring.
For example, many years ago, the average office you would see, would be a room full of ‘cubicles’, temporary movable walls put in place so as to place each worker inside their own little mini office style box. This was seen as a great way to provide office workers with a greater degree of privacy, and a personalised space, however the fact that these cubicle walls were often dull, and cut off a worker from socialising with any other employee’s, negative effects such as depression, anti social work places, and dehumanisation of the workplace begun to arise, and these lay outs are rarely used in the UK anymore (although still present).
After the age of the cubicle, came the almost complete opposite, in ‘hot desking’ or ‘hoteling’ whereby an office is completely open, with all desks placed side by side in several rows, and instead of a worker having their own desk, they simply sit wherever is free when they arrive on the day. This is still a very popular method in places such as call centres as it saves a lot of office space, however, as could have been expected, it brought the exact opposite situation as cubicles, people were working around each other in a more sociable environment, however the lack of having a personal desk was often damaging to morale of workers, who often ended up feeling unimportant, and disposable to the company.
So, what could the possible solution be? Well its one which many people are increasingly taking, and one which provides a mix of both the aforementioned layouts. Don’t isolate workers, let them have a free, fun working environment, however, always ensure they have their own personal space, office desks play a crucial part, not only of practicality, but also giving morale to a worker, if they have their own space they can personalise and make a home away from home, then their mood and attitude toward work will be much better!
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