There are advantages to the open floor plan for home and work spaces, but there are also a hefty dose of disadvantages that become increasingly apparent as the trend is starting to die down. The most notable downside being the amount of noise that comes with an open floor plan, and how that noise can really affect the surrounding environment.
In the beginning, open floor plan design for offices existed to reinforce the power structure inherent within the corporation. Those with power had walls and doors, those without power shared a communal space. These offices were bustling and busy, but are considered to be distracting and annoying by today’s standards.
While many still tout the open office as productive and great for team-building, employees of these offices feel differently. According to Business Insider, upwards of 70% of employees work in this open-air environment, and these employees are not thrilled with their wall-less work spaces. Maria Konnikova examined the efficacy of this layout and found some surprising things.
First, the noise levels present in the offices are incredibly distracting. Some employees feel as though “headphones are the new walls.” Additionally, these wall-less spaces make employees feel as though they are helpless, distracted, and unproductive.
Similar sentiments can be found by those who live with open floor plans in their homes. The fad of open living for entertainment purposes is dwindling as residents are increasingly frustrated by the constant noise. When your living, dining, and cooking spaces are all open to each other, there’s nothing stopping the noise from the television from distracting the cook, or the sound from the dishwasher interrupting your favorite movie.
The reality is the open floor plan is great when things need to be collaborative and social – or when available square footage is such that the alternative means feeling like you live or work in a closet – but people need quiet spaces to think, reflect, enjoy privacy, or just be alone.
Are you ready to ditch your open floor plan in your home or office design? Contact us today at Leslie Saul & Associates to figure out what floor plan design works best for you.