The Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Plan Office Layouts
What is an open plan office?
As the name suggests, an open plan office is a type of office layout where all employees work on the same floor and in the same open space.
Open plan spaces have essentially made office cubicles redundant in favour of a more collaborative and creatively engaging workspace environment. Co-working spaces commonly adopt open plan office layouts for increased productivity, flexibility and networking opportunities.
How can you be productive working in an open plan office?
Everyone has their preferences when it comes to their workspace. Some people enjoy a lively and energetic environment where collaboration is encouraged, while others may prefer working in quieter, private environments. Being productive in an open plan office is easily achieved if you enjoy working in the following:
- Working in a fast-paced environment
- Are keen to network with other employees
- Thrive off communication and socialising
- Are keen to share ideas and build camaraderie
- Want to be part of a culture or community
Open plan offices certainly aren’t for everyone but there are several benefits for those who enjoy an interactive and fast-paced work environment.
Working in an open environment makes it easier for employees to communicate with each other and share ideas. Even if your aren’t actively networking, talking to like-minded employees and sharing your ideas is bound to spark creativity and increases the potential of collaboration projects.
This technically only applies to open offices that adopt a coworking or hot desk policy (where employees from different industries work in the same). Being sat next to someone new every day helps form new relationships and potentially collaboration possibilities.
Gone are the days of office cubicles with no light and little human interaction. Whether you work in a co-working or traditional office space, having an open plan, social workspace boosts moral and optimises workflow.
It goes without saying that the aim of an open office is to provide more space and freedom for the employee. When comparing open plan vs closed plan offices, the clear aesthetic winner is open plan:
Cubicles are impersonal and isolated and in today’s ever-evolving world, communication collaboration and happiness is at the forefront of office design. This is one of the major reasons why open plan offices are good for employee retention and morale.
Arguably the most common issue people have with working in an open plan office is the noise level. Some employees may find it difficult taking phone calls if the office is particularly loud or you are easily distracted. Additionally, noise travels easier through an open space and with no barriers or cubicles to shield you from office talk traffic. However, if you’re looking for an open plan office noise reduction solution, try investing in some noise-cancelling headphones.
Working in an open office does limit your privacy and some people may find it difficult focusing on their tasks if they are easily distracted by coworkers. However, if you’re used to this kind of environment, this shouldn’t become a problem.
Not suitable for some employees
Senior employees may find the atmosphere too erratic and therefore difficult to concentrate on it. Of course, the atmosphere of an open office depends on the people working there, but co-working and hot desk-dominated areas are typically used by creative freelancers who will often be socialising and networking.
Are there different kinds of open offices?
There are different ways to organise and plan an open office, but all follow the same design principle. Below are three ‘types’ of open plan office we offer across London:
Managed offices – our managed office spaces offer clients full flexibility. From customisable work areas with next-gen technology to catering services, our premium managed office spaces provide flexible and bespoke workspace solutions.
Serviced offices – our serviced office buildings can be found in iconic London locations, including Mayfair, Monument and Blackfriars. Our Monument building features four roof terraces for break-out spaces and can be hired out for private events. We also have four office buildings in the popular and prestigious Hanover area.
Co-working offices – our Watford building, known as ‘The Junction’, offers flexible lease options and ultimate flexibility. Situated above Watford Junction Station, access across London is made simple. The Junction includes meeting rooms, private and virtual offices as well as co-working spaces. For a truly flexible open office experience, arrange a tour of our Watford co-working space.
Partner with Halkin and help us help you grow and develop your business
Partnering with Halkin comes with major benefits that are not readily available with other office space companies in London. You will become part of a culture that understands the importance of bespoke office space and workspace etiquette.
Our aim is to provide you with everything you need to help your business continue to grow. We offer flexible lease options and stunning offices in iconic, highly sought-after locations across London for the ultimate workplace experience.
Call or email our team for more information on our office spaces or to arrange a viewing at a time that suits you.
Alternatively, explore our unique office buildings by exploring the menu at the top of this page.