Open Office v. Private Office Layout: Which is Better?

Posted on: May 4, 2017

Our team recently spoke to you a bit about the role of design in office spaces. We touched on the need to reflect your business’ culture and “feel”, as well as how important proper design can be to how well your business runs in general. Today, let’s take a step back and dissect two very prominent, and yet very different, office layout and design styles.

We want to talk about closed office design, open office design, and which of the two might be your best fit!

Defining Open and Closed Office Design

Before we really dig in and go anywhere, let’s get one thing out of the way. There is no definitive best choice. Each style, both open and closed, suits specific needs and businesses. The question is much more about matching your goals, rather than picking something that is objectively better. Even within the same industries some layouts and designs are going to work for some teams, but restrict others. Let’s start with a quick, loose definition of our two design types:

Closed, or private office space, creates an environment of seclusion (though not necessarily sequestering). It often brings to mind closed, individual office spaces, cubicles, and similar designs.

Open offices are typically a very open, wall-free or wall-minimal space. Seating, storage, and furniture tend to be mobile, open, and design overall leans toward open collaboration and communication.

The Advantages of an Open Office

Open offices typically engender a more energetic, communicative space, and the design is often employed in industries where constant collaboration, brainstorming, and teamwork are vital to progress and productivity.

Open office spaces can benefit your business by:

  • Saving on cost. By not depending on constructed permanent walls and cubicle spaces, companies can save a lot on initial design and layout costs.
  • Comfortable communication. By opening up your office space, you’re allowing the sharing of ideas, as well as the opportunity for peers to build on each others ideas, rather than putting them in a constant state of odds and competition.
  • Engendering high-energy offices. If your business or industry benefits from energetic, free-thinking employees, an open office is the way to go.  

The Benefits of Private Office Space

While communication and group productivity can be vital, there are some big perks of keeping things closed-off as well. The biggest drawbacks of an open office are interruption and professionalism, which can be challenged by large, open space. Your major advantage of the more traditional private office space is going to be better focus and concentration, as well as allowing for less interruption. In industries where distraction can be an impediment, private office layouts are often chosen.

Are Hybrid Layouts Your Best Bet?

Though we may have stated that there is no best option, there is something to be said for having it all. Choosing either one or the other comes with benefits, but offers disadvantages as well. So why not both? Many modern businesses are learning to benefit from having open, free office layouts, with the addition of closed office space for times that require focus and less interruptions.

Fortunately, modern office solutions have begun to shift specifically in this direction, offering business owners to gain all of the advantages of both of these layout options, with none of the drawbacks. All it takes is working with the right team of designers, and having access to the best storage and office furniture solutions!

Are you a design professional?

We can help you with specifications, provide comprehensive CAD drawings of solutions, and work with you to provide sustainable products to support your goal for LEED certification. We are happy to be an integral part of your team and meet with clients as much or as little as you would need.

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