Partitioning’s Place in the Open Plan World

The idea of an open plan office is a supposedly modern movement surging across offices throughout the world. The first open plan factory, the Larkin Administration Building, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, opened in New York in 1906. Since then, an open plan setting has fallen in and out of fashion.

Under the guise of improving communication, sparking creativity and offering ‘flexible’ working, the open plan office is adopted by many designers, architects and top managers. However, recent evidence published in the journal, ‘Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B’, shows that rather than increasing face-to-face collaboration, open architecture appears to trigger a natural human response to withdraw socially from colleagues and instead interact over email or instant messaging.

Whilst it is a current trend within the industry, if open plan offices aren’t increasing productivity or communication between staff, then the natural way forward is to start separating people again. Undoubtedly, the best way to divide staff is using glass; this way you are still promoting an open, light filled space, but also securing some privacy and acoustic control.

For a modern and well-designed office with glass partitioning, our LOFT system can provide a trendy alternative to the open plan office. The single or double-glazed partitioning is styled with the East London industrial type office in mind. A slender framework available in 20mm, 54mm or 100mm, with adaptable mullions and transoms, the LOFT panelled glass partitioning allows for a bespoke design. For added privacy, LOFT allows for a variety of infill finishes such as coloured, reeded and mesh glass.

To improve workforce communication, introduce private spaces where people can speak freely without being overheard. By using our LOFT partitioning system, you can provide this and create a design-led ‘on trend’ office space.

Find out more about our LOFT partitioning systems here. Please do contact us for more information.

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