While technological developments have made it possible for many people to work from any place that offers an internet connection, the majority of companies still choose to have their employees come into the office at the start of every workday. Curious as to how office dwellers feel about their daily workspace, Regus asked 170 Hong Kong business professionals about their preferences.
Fully enclosed offices were indicated by 64% to be best designed to protect employees’ privacy, while open plan offices are considered ideal for fostering communication among departments by close to three of every four (72%) survey respondents.
The clear winner, however, is a workspace with partially enclosed workstations. More than four in five (86%) of respondents find these the ideal spot for concentration, and 83% confirmed this would be the most productive setting for them to do their job.
Additionally, partially enclosed workstations are considered more quiet than open plan offices with only a third (33%) saying that they find them noisy compared with 75% for open plan spaces.
It’s not all bad news for employers who have chosen an open plan layout, as 65% of respondents said open plan spaces are key to fostering cooperation.
Commenting on the results, Natina Wong, Regus country manager for Hong Kong, said in a press release: “Contemporary workers have several design options available to them when it comes to desk space. Gone are the days of enclosed offices for senior staff and open plan reception areas, now it is much more common to find workers from different departments and functions sharing open spaces, but what is the impact on productivity and concentration?”
She continued: “It’s hardly surprising to find that business people regard noisy open spaces as less productive, but it is interesting to find that their preference is actually for a ‘golden mean’: the partially enclosed office space that allows them to benefit from the collaborative environment of open space offices without their thoughts being drowned out by background noise.”
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