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We’re currently choosing a new work space for our small oil & gas company, but we’re not sure if we prefer an open concept or closed office workplace. Which plan have you found works the best?

Scout Young's Profile

Answers

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

I have worked in many open concept spaces and have managed people in open concept spaces and I really enjoy the group commaraderie that develops, but there are drawbacks when some work requires thought development and concentration.

When there are no "escape zones" from the noise and interruptions and there are not enough small conference rooms for private conversation with staff, the result is sometimes lack of productivity in accounting departments, staff who wear headphones leading to the perception of introverted behavior, staff who are overly protective of their time from interruptions leading to relationship barriers, everyone in everyones business because they overheard a private conversation, managers taking everything out to a coffee shop to talk privately, more requests to work virtually to find time to work through a complex accounting issue or project plan. Performance review preparation cannot be done during work hours due to lack of privacy.

The lack of private space and escape zones from the noise perhaps may not be an issue in operational environments but for accountants its a concern. Open work environments are great, but you need to provide the capacity for privacy as well with fully functioning internet outlets and wifi.

Many accounting managers need a private space or available conference room space daily but companies rarely think about the needs of the accounting team and as a result, there not enough conference rooms available for accounting because of being fully scheduled by operations.

Open space can work, if you provide enough get-a-away availability.

Topic Expert
Aaron Codak
Title: Client Services Finance manager, North A..
Company: Kantar Finance Services (Shared Service ..
LinkedIn Profile
(Client Services Finance manager, North Americ, Kantar Finance Services (Shared Service Center)) |

I recently started at a new company where it is more of an open environment. It did take some getting used to as I enjoyed the privacy of an office in my previous position but I have grown to enjoy it - I am a people person and enjoy developing relationships with my staff. This is the perfect opportunity to do so, especially when you join a new company or take on a new position. You get to know the people you work with and/or manage so much more quickly and develop great relationships with them as well. In our office space, we have a number of offices throughout the floor that are designated as mini conference rooms - these rooms are available to be "booked" through our MS Outlook email account to be used for private phone calls (phone interviews for managerial type positions, to conduct client phone calls or other business related phone calls, conduct performance reviews and other needs that require more privacy). I would be happy to share more information on this environment if you wish to discuss more.

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