One of the biggest decisions that any business has to take when it comes to organizing its office space is deciding between an open-plan layout or the more traditional closed layouts which include separate offices and cubicles. Each different way of organizing a commercial space has its pros and cons – here are a few things to keep in mind when you choose a layout for your office.
Open plan offices
An open-plan office places people in the same space and encourages co-workers to interact with each other and share ideas. Many employers believe that this has several HR benefits:
- Better team work
- Openness in the office environment
- Avoiding a sense of isolation, especially for new members of staff
Open plan office spaces definitely break down barriers between co-workers, but for some organisations this major strength of the open plan office is also sometimes a weakness – there are times when private meetings need to take place, and some tasks are easier to achieve when employees have the peace and quiet they need to focus.
Closed office spaces
The traditional office layout, with separate offices on either side of a corridor, has been replaced by the open plan layout in many modern buildings, but many managers and business owners still prefer this type of commercial space.
The biggest advantage of having separate offices is the ability to close the door and get on with the task at hand. This is especially important for employees who deal with finances, accounting, or technical jobs that require intense concentration.
There are several disadvantages to working in isolation, and the biggest one is probably the sense of isolation that workers feel when they are closed up in an office all day.
While some people prefer to work alone, many employees thrive in an office environment where they can see their team mates and interact with them.
Cubicles tend to combine the worst aspects of open plan offices (noise and a lack of private space) and closed offices (isolation and a lack of contact with co-workers). For this reason, cubicles have declined in popularity and should be avoided if possible.
Now that you have decided whether an open plan or closed office space is better for your company, now take a look at the comparison between leasing and buying your office space.