Giant Leap design and build corporate interiors that inspire efficient and innovative work.

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Covid-19 Shapes The Open-plan Office Of The Future

Over the last 20 years most businesses had converted their offices to the more modern and economical open-office plan. Open-plan offices were thought to instill a culture of teamwork and democracy where management was more accessible to employees, and it was easier for people to share resources and information.

However, just before the world was hit by COVID-19, the efficacy of open-plan office collaboration was starting to be questioned. Employees felt that they were not conducive to productivity; managers found it challenging to manage staff in an open environment, and research studies supported this. But, with the pandemic businesses are reassessing the value of the open-plan office, and whether this is the way of future workspaces.

Is the open office concept still relevant?

With COVID-19 regulations regarding distancing, open-plan offices after coronavirus are essential but need to be combined with other design elements to address productivity and privacy issues.

Office interior and workplace design consultants, like Giant Leap, know just how to strike the right balance between private, quiet spaces, and open-plan collaborative spaces. They will help to configure your office space to suit the unique needs of your business and staff. They address everything from air-flow to creating smart offices, well-planned collaborative spaces, and even training your staff on how best to use and manage open-plan offices after coronavirus.

How to work in an open plan office?

  • Distractions are wasteful. Employees should be equipped with skills like The Pomodoro Technique of time management where short breaks are scheduled throughout the day.
  • Use different spaces like breakaway rooms, a conference room, or an outside seating area for different tasks or activities.
  • Combat noise issues by allowing staff to use headphones to listen to music or “white noise”.
  • Place people carefully according to their job types. Don’t place noisy sales staff next to your researchers, for example. Have areas that are quiet spaces and others that are “noisy”.
  • Managers should avoid the inclination to micromanage their team because they are all right there in front of them. Employees don’t want to feel like they’re constantly being monitored and doing so will lead to a breakdown in trust and productivity.
  • Establish clearly defined open-plan office rules. Workshop these rules with staff in order for them to take ownership of the rules rather than feel they are being forced on them.
  • Discuss open-plan office etiquette with your employees. Discuss common issues like talking too loudly, privacy, and eating habits. Create a set of open-plan office etiquette guidelines to supplement your open-plan office rules.

Open plan office etiquette guidelines

Regularly discuss open-plan office etiquette in staff meetings, and display your rules in a common area in the workspace where people can be reminded of them.


  1. Remember that everyone is there to work.
  2. Hold meetings in designated meeting or “huddle” spaces.
  3. Be mindful of the volume of your voice.
  4. Don’t assume someone is not busy, ask before you interrupt.
  5. Keep your desk tidy and clear of clutter.
  6. Never borrow anything from someone’s desk without their permission.
  7. Respect co-worker’s privacy.
  8. Avoid bringing strong smells into the open.
  9. If you are sick, stay at home.
  10. Practice good hygiene and abide by all COVID-19 protocols.
  11. If you have a problem with a colleague, address it kindly and politely.

Don’t ignore a concern or issue someone raises with you.

The open-plan office of the future

COVID-19 has given open-plan offices a new lease on life but it is vital that they are well-designed. and balances with contrasting spaces if your workforce is to be happy and productive. Contact Giant Leap to find out more about shaping your open-plan office space for the future.

The Giant Leap Team

Whatever your business, we’re pretty sure that you want to create spaces that inspire people. From clients that walk through the doors to employees that spend all day at work, dare to let your office space create an inspiration first impression.

As a black woman-owned company, in business since 2011, we are passionate about designing superior interiors that allow people to journey through them with ease. Our passion is people and we create designs with a focus on excellence in delivery, finish, material, and technology.

At Giant Leap, we are driven by the simple idea that if you treat people well, you bring out the very best in them. This has been the driving force behind our success over the years. It manifests itself in everything we do and design.

People are at the heart of everything we do; everything we design.

Giant Leap, welcome to a better place.