According to an ever-increasing swathe of reports that have come to light in previous years, open-plan offices do not appear to be as good for productivity as first thought. However good office cleaning can help reduce the effects of open plan office design.
Indeed, one survey found that people working in open-plan offices were off sick 62% more of the time than those working in individual spaces. It would appear the idea of connecting workers with one another is good in terms of morale and camaraderie, but bad in terms of infections and illnesses. Stress seems to be a big problem in those who work in open-plan situations. However the spread of bugs and bacteria through an open-plan space is clearly far easier than it would be in enclosed spaces.
Colds tend to be passed more easily in open spaces, as do bacteria and other infections. If phones and computers are shared as well, it further encourages the spread of infection from one person to another, since they are unlikely to be cleaned on a regular basis throughout the day.
Regular cleaning is essential regardless of the office layout
Open-plan working however seems to be liked by staff and so could be more productive for businesses but only if regular office cleaning is adopted.
“Cleaning computer desks, phones and other areas, whether shared or not, helps to keep each area as safe and clean as possible,” said a spokesman for Procare Cleaning. “While it is up to the boss to decide whether to revert back to individual spaces instead of open-plan arrangements, regular cleaning has a lot to commend it in every respect.”