While 81 per cent of employees said open-space office environments support collaboration, they also noted at least some privacy contributes to a more productive, less stressful work space, according to new research by Robert Half Canada Inc.

Despite these findings, only 35 per cent of the 500 workers surveyed said their employers offer work spaces that promote both collaboration and privacy.

“Work spaces should be as unique and versatile as the employees who use them,” said Greg Scileppi, president of international staffing operations at Robert Half, in a news release. “By taking into consideration various work styles and preferences, companies can establish an office design that encourages improved performance, comfort and productivity.”

Read: How to manage diverse needs in converting to open offices

The recruiter also surveyed 300 human resources managers and found more than half (57 per cent) are satisfied with collaboration in their work spaces, and many don’t have plans to update their offices.

But organizations need to consider the large impact office design can have on employees, noted Scileppi. “The look and feel of an office represents the company and reflects the corporate culture; the right layout can attract candidates in the hiring process, and keep current staff feeling engaged and supported.”

The survey also found:

  • 81 per cent of employee respondents said open floor plans help with collaboration, followed by semi-private cubicles (62 per cent), an office with open and private spaces (58 per cent) and private cubicles (54 per cent);
  • Employees who work in semi-private cubicles and a combination of open and private spaces felt the least productive, while those with private offices felt the most productive;
  • 60 per cent of respondents with private offices said their work space makes them feel relaxed, while those working in semi-private cubicles (33 per cent) reported the most stress due to their work space.

Read: Personality-based seating charts boost productivity: study

While employees differ in the work spaces they prefer, Robert Half identified some benefits and drawbacks of different work space configurations.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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