Most of us are familiar with the term ‘open-plan’ working. The concept has been adopted by many businesses, but where did it all begin? Open plan working was initially adopted by the big Silicon Valley technology firms, such as Facebook and Google. Rather than having barriers between employees, corporations were keen to get everyone together in one big, bright and modern space.
The trend is not confined to office space alone. We’ve seen an increase in the number of homeowners opting for open-plan living. Find out more about the open plan concept and discover how it has crept into offices and homes all over the world..
Why is open-plan living so popular?
According to recent studies, around a third of work carried out on residential properties involved creating an open-plan space. Instead of having a room designated for a specific activity such as cooking, relaxing or dining, homeowners were keen to create a multi-purpose space. For example, there’s been a meteoric rise in the number of people converting their kitchens and dining rooms – joining the two to make one large space.
Many also go one step further and remove the lounge wall too – thus providing a completely open-plan feel.
Parents like the idea of being close to their offspring, they can prep meals and keep an eye on little Johnny whilst he plays with his train-set on the rug – something that wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the open-plan living setup.
Open-plan living also encourages an abundance of natural light to enter the house. This natural light allows homeowners to not only save on utility bills, but to also enjoy a wide array of associated health benefits.
Why is open-plan working so popular?
Many businesses have adopted the open-plan concept, keen to provide a sense of light and space that’s conducive to a productive environment. Corporations like to foster a feeling of teamwork and collaboration, and open plan working allows for both.
Employees working in an open-plan space will find it easier to communicate with colleagues. They can easily ask questions, share ideas and address any work-related issues. This open-plan theme is also thought to be be better for an employees mental health, as they aren’t confined to their own area all day. Instead, employees are encouraged to get up and stretch their legs by walking around the office. They can easily interact with colleagues rather than sending endless emails and making lots of telephone calls.
There’s also a financial incentive to opt for the concept. Open-plan working saves money on construction costs. With fewer offices and walls needing to be built, business owners can save considerable amounts of money. This set-up is also a lot more economical when it comes to air conditioning, especially for large offices that are heavily reliant on this during hot summers and cold winters. These savings may only be fractional, but for businesses, cutting costs always has its benefits.
Considering switching to open-plan?
After reading this you might be considering switching to an open-plan theme yourself – whether it be in your office or in your home. The concept certainly has its merits, but please don’t just rush into it!
Getting an open-plan theme spot on takes a considerable amount of planning. It can also be a costly affair – don’t waste money by not thinking things through and making mistakes. That said, many homeowners and business owners have successfully converted their homes and businesses into open plan spaces.
When planning your open-plan space make sure it revolves around your lifestyle. Think about the purpose you want the space to serve and how you want it to look and feel.
It’s worth consulting an interior designer as they can often suggest ideas and features you might not be aware of, such as bi-fold doors. Doors such as these allow you to close off areas as required or open them up to provide additional light and space.
The key is to make your home or business work for you and those who spend time in it.