DATE: 07/22/2014

As we have said before, the private office is dying a slow death. More companies are transitioning to open workspaces, with collaborative office desks, than ever before, in an effort to offset rising real estate costs and encourage more productive relationships between staff. This isn’t just talk; there are real numbers to back up the claim. Here are some of them, according to a survey by corporate real estate association CoreNet Global:

  • A majority of employers allocate 150 square feet or less per worker in 2014. This is a sharp decline from the 225 square feet they allotted in 2010.
  • The same survey determined that space per person is likely to continue to shrink, with 58% of companies expecting to increase employment in the next year.
  • Incredibly, an overwhelming 81% of companies surveyed have already adopted an open-space floor plan.

But why? Because, according to CoreNet, existing private offices are rarely being used. The survey determined that assigned space is unused as much as 50% of the time. Why retain an office that is only used half the work week? To that end, open workspaces with collaborative office desks just make sense – especially when you consider that large companies like AT&T saved $3,000 for every private office they opted to do away with.

If your company is still in the consideration phase when it comes to eliminating private offices, doing the following may help you make a final decision:

Visit a friend’s open workspace business. Ask someone in your network who has an open workspace if you can stop by and check it out.

Try it out in installments. Take baby steps toward an open workspace, by implementing it in one department in a specific part of the building.

Start transitioning with furniture, such as collaborative office desks. Implementing a few pieces of collaborative office furniture and trying them out is a great way to determine if your company could benefit from a complete workspace transition.