Open-plan offices vs. closed offices

Open-plan offices are always a very popular option because they provide good layout and long-lasting design. However, many companies today are converting their closed offices into open-plan offices, or making a combination of both worlds for best results. Each layout has their own positive and negative aspects, and some combinations and layouts can work well for some specific businesses, but will not work so well for others. Here are some pros and cons of both office styles:

Open-plan offices are designed in a more flexible way. The hi-tech world we live in dominated by laptops, smartphones, and constant connectivity, have led many businesses to drop the standard desks and focus more towards open offices, where people have plenty of space to work and interact with each other. They can easily move their chairs and computers and collaborate with their colleagues. However, this office layout is not suitable for every business. Especially for bigger companies, where managers may worry that some of their workers are slacking or avoiding their obligations. However, companies today have all kinds of software available for tracking the behaviour of their employees so this can be monitored fairly well.

Open-plan offices work well for companies where managers trust the independence and skills of their employees. One worker can move around and do several tasks while effectively communicating with colleagues, instead of sitting in some corner office isolated from others.

Closed offices are great for those companies where there is no big need for the staff to constantly communicate with each other. However, sometimes closed offices can lead to time-wasting if the workers get bored from the monotonous workload and lack of interaction. In these types of offices, you will mostly hear the clatter on the keyboards instead of conversation!


On the other hand, closed offices give workers the opportunity to work peacefully and quietly, without being distracted by their colleagues. Staff can personalise their working space by playing their favourite radio station, including family photos, or adding some personal touches to their workspace so they feel ‘more at home’ in their environment.

These are just some of the characteristics of both open-plan and closed offices. It all depends on the type of business you’re in and what works for you. Consider this when planning your office space and if you need any advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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