The issue of employee satisfaction with the workplace environment has become the main concern for the management since it directly impacts business productivity. Despite the fact that an open-plan office environment has some benefits as to employees’ satisfaction, the employees did not accept the announcement made by the EngCo CEO the way the management thought they would. Such a reaction is correlated with the concept of ‘resistance to change,’ which is a reactive process to changes conducted in an organization (Palmer, Dunford, & Buchanan, 2016).
However unpleasant the change may be, it is important for the businesses to be prepared for it, reconfigure, and gradually develop in order to adapt to new changes. Thus, the EngCO management decided to conduct a survey for employees to get important information about their opinions about the change towards open-plan spaces.
Employee Survey for Open Plan Office Change
Do you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statements below:
- I have experienced open-plan working spaces in my previous job, and the environment did not allow me to show my full potential.
- I believe that open-plan spaces create noise and distractions for employees.
- I am deeply concerned with the issue of privacy in an open-plan office setting.
- The study conducted by Haynes (2008) concluded that there was no clearly established connection between office layout and productivity, and I hold the same opinion.
- The choice of office layout is a strategic decision, which should be discussed with employees that are working in the corporate environment.
- I am concerned with my health since diseases tend to spread quicker in open-plan offices.
- I would like to interact with my colleagues on a regular basis, so open-plan offices are not an issue for me.
- Our team lacks collaboration and a sense of camaraderie; I am glad that we will be switching to an open plan office environment for facilitating such collaboration.
- I am resistant to the idea of open-plan spaces because I think that my performance will be compromised by the lack of privacy or healthy competition between workers.
- 10. I would like to be allowed to work under optimally comfortable conditions (Roelofsen, 2002); however, the management should have consulted the employees before making a decision to switch to an open-plan office.
The survey presented above will be particularly beneficial within the context of the EngCo company since it was targeted at finding out the main points of concern employees have regarding the switch to a new office design. If indeed, such a change is necessary, then it is important for the organization to engage in the change efforts and for the management to adapt to the needs and requirements of employees to ensure that the change is advantageous for all members of the company (Leadership and change, 2016).
After analyzing the results of the survey, the management has to explain its reasoning behind choosing an open plan design (e.g., cost reduction, teamwork facilitation, abandonment of isolation) (Rayle, 2007). If employees do not agree with the reasoning, it may be a good idea to look for other forms of innovative office designs or review the negative aspects of open-plan offices, like, for example, the increased number of diseases in the workplace (Codrea-Rado, 2013).
Codrea-Rado, A. (2013). Open-plan offices make employees less productive, less happy, and more likely to get sick. Web.
Haynes, B. (2008). The impact of office layout on productivity. Journal of Facilities Management, 6(3), 189-201.
Leadership and change. (2016). Web.
Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Akin, G. (2008). Managing organizational change: a multiple perspective approach (2nd ed.), Sydney, Australia: McGraw-Hill.
Rayle, M. (2007). Opening minds to open offices. Web.
Roelofsen, P. (2002). The impact of office environments on employee performance: the design of the workplace as a strategy for productivity enhancement. Journal of Facilities Management, 1(3), 247-264.