For owners and managers looking to increase productivity and get the most out of their employees, having an office with an open floor plan can be a great idea. Taking workers out of private cubicles or offices and placing them in open spaces can help encourage interpersonal interactions and, in turn, productivity. According to The Wall Street Journal, “email traffic dropped by more than 50%, while decision making accelerated by some 25% because workers were able to meet informally instead of volleying emails from offices and cubes” when GlaxoSmithKline made the switch to an open space. But because every office has at least some need for privacy, interior glass sliding doors can be a great addition.
Perhaps the best use for interior glass sliding doors in an office setting is to separate conference rooms from other spaces. Generally, conference rooms are big, so opening them up to the office can help make the space feel bigger, more open, and more relaxing. When combined with removing private cubicles, glass doors can quickly change the overall feel of an office space. That change could foster more collaboration and better communication, which is great for any company while still allowing private meetings to be held.
Interior sliding doors might also be smart for managers who want to remain approachable and encourage employees to come to them with problems or ideas. Of course, they will have to be shut during private conversations, but sliding doors can also be opened wide to make private offices more inviting or even a part of the actual floor. Introverts especially — who could be intimated or hesitant to knock on an office door — should appreciate the open feel. Publicist Grace Emery, a self-proclaimed introvert, echoes that sentiment. “I’m not as excited to just get up and strut into someone’s office and say I need to meet with you, so open plan is kind of a good environment for someone who might be less bold,” she said.
Privacy walls and dividers certainly have their place in offices, especially since being accessible to co-workers constantly can actually be distracting at times. But getting rid of them and creating an open floor plan can help create an environment that promotes communication and productivity. While there are lots of steps that will need to be taken to accomplish that, installing interior glass sliding doors, instead of big, bulky, and imposing ones, can be a vital part of the process.