Office Design, Office Funiture

Open Vs. Closed Office Spaces: What Works Best For My Business?

If you go to nearly any modern office space, you’ll likely note the total domination of the use of open-concept office designs. Long, multi-station desking solutions have supplanted cubicles, and many often utilize alternative seating options like booths, couches, and break-out tables.

The popularity of open-concept office designs has primarily been spearheaded by the emergence of tech giants such as Apple, Meta, and Google, which want to project a sense of egalitarianism in their workspaces. Open office plans can also help facilitate open, fast-paced communication and collaboration, which is helpful for a looser organizational structure that values innovation over conformity.

The meteoric rise of tech companies has spurred companies outside of the core industry to try and replicate their success in a variety of ways, including how they design their offices. It’s not too rare to find your local insurance underwriting office populated with shared desking solutions and wildly colored sofas in the break room.

While there is much to be said about the benefits of an open office plan, the design style does have its drawbacks, as well. Open office spaces provide little privacy for the average worker, exposing them to all of the noise, movements, and visual distractions created by every other employee on the floor.

Open office plans also often lack the customizability of individual workstations, meaning workers must spend valuable time setting up their workspace daily. They also can’t add the personal touches that make them feel comfortable and focused during the day, leading to lapses in morale and concentration.

This begs the question: would an open or closed office design work better for my company? The answer lies in your employees individual needs and the greater organizational values you hope to promote.

Open Office Plans

Open office plans promote fast-paced, flexible, casual communication and employee collaboration. Workers have no need to move to a huddle room or conference room to have a conversation or discuss a project, as they can just move to an open area or sit together and begin the work immediately.

This is beneficial to certain departments and companies working in specific industries. Tech companies and start-ups often benefit from this kind of setup, as quick collaborations between employees working in different departments and projects are a valuable tool.

Sales departments and engineering teams are the ones most likely to benefit from this layout. Outfitting your office with collaborative desking solutions, break-out tables, and flex tables for conference rooms will help create the open, collaborative atmosphere that this design scheme promotes.

Closed Office Plans

Closed office plans promote privacy and focus, letting employees concentrate on the difficult work in front of them rather than the conversation happening across the office floor. Closed office environments are best for activities that require deep concentration, like creative pursuits such as graphic design, or number crunching, as you’d find in an accounting office.

Closed office designs often utilize the tried and true cubicle system. While so-called ‘cubicle farms’ have gotten a bad rap since the 1990’s, there is no better way to provide the privacy, customization options, and comfort that employees need to get their work done.

The best cubicle systems today are the Novo system cubicles and the System 2, both of which provide a considerable amount of customization options to fit a desired office aesthetic and provide a level of openness that workers in years past could only dream of. Each of these systems provide ample power and data connections that allow workers to have clean and efficiently laid out work stations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *