May 21, 2019

Here’s Why the Awesome Google Office Isn’t Awesome for All Kinds of Workplace

Article by Micah Weeks

A moose sculpture hangs on the wall while an employee works near a fireplace in a common area of Google Canada’s engineering headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. The 185,000-square-foot facility currently houses over 350 employees from Google’s Canadian development team. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

One of the things entrepreneurs really invest in is office space. They spend thousands of dollars to lease, and thousands more to create the best office design that could boost the productivity and creativity of employees. Apart from these, the office space should be well-designed to accommodate the culture of the company and represent the brand.

The office has a direct impact on employee performance. For example, part of office design is the furniture you provide your employees. They should be ergonomic; otherwise, your team may not be comfortable working in them and become less efficient. Visuals like paintings and wall paint also affect your employees’ stress levels and creativity.

One popular office design concept today is the open plan, just like the buildings in Googleplex, Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. According to a Forbes article, “Google is one of the pioneers in promoting movement in its offices.” The tech giant’s offices offer an open layout space to encourage casual collision among all employees and to make sure they are all comfortable.

As an interior design service provider in Melbourne, we know that at first glance, Google’s office may seem like career heaven (it has free food and nap pods!). But it may not be the best idea for all kinds of workplaces. Here’s why:

The World Shouldn’t be a Giant Google Office

Yes, Google is promoting creativity and productivity through the open office layout. But not all employees have the same motivation and discipline. If your team gets easily distracted or are chatty with their workmates, an open layout may be counterproductive. You may think you’re encouraging collaboration when you’re actually giving them room to be distracted by their workmates. Make sure your employees have the self-discipline and skill to compartmentalize when working.

Another thing is that an office space may push you to be the manager no one wants to have – the one that keeps track of every single thing an employee does. Yes, a micromanager. With an open office layout, you may be tempted to check on everyone and correct them every time they make even the most trivial mistake. Or, you might be the one distracting them. Some employees tend to perform less when they feel like they are being watched all the time.

On another note, if your office is located in a place where people get sick a lot, you may want to hold your plan for an open office. Without walls or segmentation, it’s easy to spread viruses. That means lower productivity, which results in decreased yields and outputs, as well.

Should You Go For It?

Do you really want to realise the open concept in your office space? If so, here are only some of the pros to this layout:

  • You can establish a culture of teamwork and communication.
  • You can remove the idea of office hierarchy.
  • You can have a more aesthetically-appealing space.
  • You can cut the budget for cubicles and other office furniture.

Undoubtedly, there are advantages that come with the open office space. But while this is true, a Google-inspired workplace environment isn’t ideal for every company. It ultimately depends on the culture of the employees and the nature of the business.

Are you looking for an ideal design for your office? We can help you come up with the best ideas that can boost productivity and give everyone in the office the comfort they deserve. Contact us today for a customised workplace design strategy.

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