Open Office Vs Traditional Layout: What Is Better for Productivity


An office is important for any organization. It acts as the place where all the managerial work is done. Typically, companies have numerous offices to handle different tasks. The arrangement of the furniture and positioning of workers matters a lot to the overall productivity. Different offices exhibit some variance in general planning. Some adopt the open office while others prefer traditional plans.

Many companies have shifted from one to another all in the name of finding what brings efficiency. Each of them comes with benefits and drawbacks. A manager needs to look at the option of bringing many conveniences for managerial operations. A better decision on the choosing contributes to overall success in productivity. Begin by knowing the pros and cons of the two layouts.

Open Office Layout


  • Promotes Collaboration Among Workmates

The efficiency of an office is dependent on how each staff interacts with others. Some decision-making processes need consultations. It is easy to achieve this while in this open office setup. It makes the managers feel more approachable as compared to when there are barriers. Managers on the other hand are not left behind. They find it easy to study every operation being carried out. It gives them a picture of how each worker conducts him or herself.

  • Relatively Low Costs Are Involved

There is no need for the construction of cubicles for each employee. Wide a large office, the budget is high due to the number of structures required. Sometimes each separate office will need a telephone connection for communication. The open design requires minimal communication devices for the internal sharing of information. This saves money.

The cubicles sometimes become faulty similar to any other structures. This requires repairs and regular maintenance. Such additional costs also increase the expenses. There is a need for creating a perfect image of the company hence upgrades may be necessary. It increases the cost more.

  • Promotes Motivation

Seeing fellow mates working passionately makes one feel challenged to work more. When there are barriers, it is less likely this will happen. Workers at times notice easily when there is something wrong by the manner they behave. It becomes easier to chip in moral support. The workers with high performances can easily share to help in improving the quality of the tasks in the whole office. This brings high productivity overall.

  • Offers Flexibility 

The business world is ever-changing. This promotes a company to find ways to adapt to this dynamism. One way is to restructure the workflow for better productivity. An open layout makes this achievable with less of a struggle. It is easy to adjust the different spaces available to accommodate more tasks.

It is necessary to hire professional office design experts as a manager. These professionals will assess the total space available and suggest better options for planning. This brings an economical utilization of the total space. The type of materials used in the structures needs to be focused on. The quality ought to be high for durability purposes. The choice of the dealership you make matters a lot to the suitability of the pieces of furniture.  Identifying the different options available when making a choice is advisable. Going for the trendy models gives the office elegance.


Here are some of the main disadvantages relating to the office layout.

  • Reduces Privacy

Privacy is something every employee needs. So long as they are doing the right things and relevant for the company, it ought to be allowed. Some research work on a project needs confidentiality at the beginning stages. This is especially when each team has been assigned its task. The major deals which a manager or owner lands on the need to be conducted under high confidentiality. Such privacy is not only for the information but for the credentials of the potential partner.

  • Increases Distractions

With people having the freedom to move from one place to another, there end up being frequent movements. This makes employees subject to distractions time and again. The different office duties need total concentration for the output to be accurate. It is common to find people taking a lot of time in their tasks due to such occurrences. Besides, errors are also likely to occur when staff shifts their focus for a moment.

  • Increases Noise Levels

Sharing and interactions within workplaces bring efficiency. However, there is no clear boundary on when to speak and when not to. This is one major cause of noise in an open setup. Constant chatters are a pain to the employees who are busy with their tasks. People have different personalities. Some are talkative ones while others are not. A big problem may be when the majority of them are talkers. This makes most managers find the need to keep reshuffling the location of the workers to minimize this.

  • Problems With The HVAC Options 

Not everyone will be pleased with the heater being on or switched off. The individual preferences of the air conditions and temperature pose a problem. A closed office layout may give the worker the luxury to choose the conditioning. The same case applies to the lighting. Managers may find themselves deciding on what they want and workers find this oppressive.

  • Increases Health Risks

Some communicable diseases spread fast. Influenza, for instance, is easy to be passed between workers when sharing the same room. An employee with such illness may at times feel uncomfortable when doing his or her duties among others. This may prompt the need to be absent for a few days before the recovery. This may result in reduced productivity.

Traditional Office Layout

Similar to the open office layout, this closed arrangement comes with some benefits and demerits.


  • Brings a Clearer Sense Of Organizational Hierarchy

In every company, there is a lineup on how the management is like. The boundaries need to be clear. All organizations make every duty clear hence bringing the difference in each case. However, this needs to translate into the office plans. In a multi-story commercial building, the arrangement should be in such a way that the ranking is noticeable.

The positioning of different offices came in handy. The closed office layouts make this possible. The choice of furniture in each office can be one distinguishing factor in the hierarchy. You can procure different designs for the desks and chairs at the various offices. The beauty of the offices depends on the office furniture Phoenix you go for. There are magnificent pieces in the market which give an office much-needed elegance. Research on the different designs to settle for. This makes you identify the trendy furniture styles available.

  • There Are High Privacy Levels

An officeholder finds the working conditions full of confidentiality. This means he or she can handle the different duties well without worrying about the details being seen by others. Some projects may need some level of privacy. In a closed office, the managers can handle major deals without worries of the information being leaked. Matters involving a new transaction of money to be made may need such an environment.

This is not because others may interfere with anything. It is for the integrity of the safety of the procedure. The conversations between a manager and other managers of big companies need to be taken seriously. This needs a lot of privacy for that matter. A traditional layout makes this come true. It encourages an owner to find different connections each day hence a plus on the progressiveness of the company

  • The distractions are fewer

Workplaces need to offer the best conditions for perfection. One powerful tool for this is encouraging a total focus on the tasks by the workers. In an office, you hardly see what is happening outside. It shields you from the eventualities of distractions. People moving around makes it likely to shift the focus a bit. When the mind gets tired, anything else around may start being interesting. This is what causes a lack of concentration. It has a good impact on the performance levels.

  • Office Customization

It is satisfactory to work in an office which captures the real image of you. Different people have different preferences on the arrangement of the office desks, chairs, and cabinets. An officeholder has the opportunity to decide on how he or she wants the arrangement to be. For instance, it is possible to determine the choice of art products such as carvings to have on the main desks. Giving the office a personal touch makes you feel it’s yours. This boosts the morale of workers hence high productivity.

  • Reduces The Noise Levels

When people are together like in the case of open office setups, they become prone to talking. This may make them tend to consume some of their valuable time through some chatter. Being in your office creates a barrier that shields you from such conversations. The issue of interacting is healthy but the only problem is when production time is used. You have the chance to call a co-worker for a little talk during the free hours.

  • Gives Flexibility To The Lighting And Air Conditioning 

Since the office is yours, you can alter the temperature and lighting to what fits you well. This makes you create the optimal environment for working in. Comfort becomes a good motivator to get on with your work. It, therefore, impacts positively on your performance.


  • May Result In Team Isolation

 With more privacy, there is less interaction. There is a need for strategies to be laid around this. Without proper platforms for coordination, it brings a likelihood of teams and individuals working in their different worlds. This is a major challenge in this layout and more so for large companies. A small business with two or three offices will hardly experience this. The numerous offices should have a robust communication system.

A manager can find software developers who may customize a tool for the business’s sharing of data. Constant communication between departments has a lot to do with the growth of the company. Some consultations make certain tasks be conducted more efficiently.

  • The Management Finds It Harder To Do The Monitoring

Workers being in different offices make a manager take a lot of time before knowing how jobs are being done. After an inspection through the different offices, you may not be sure of what staff does when you close the doors behind. This prompt manager to keep making random visits to the different rooms. At times doing something indicating nosiness may discourage frequent visits.

From this, various company managers resolve to invest in employee monitoring software. This is the only way to know their conduct while working. Such programs allow the checking of an online presence by an officeholder. It becomes possible to know whether they spend time on unproductive sites.

  • The Layout Is Costly

There is a need to do proper maintenance work on the different offices. The image of a company means everything. This starts from the appearance of the office interiors and exteriors. A business owner may be prompted to invest in different renovations from time to time. This may require money when done in numerous offices.  The partitioning of the space through cubicles is intensive progress. It prompts managers to set aside budgets.

  • Encourages Absenteeism

Open Office Vs Traditional Layout

Due to the privacy of the offices, there needs to be guidance on the limits of freedom. Some workers tend to go overboard. When their tasks are over, they see it fit to leave the office early. The company’s policies may be clear against this. The employees may still turn the blind as they feel no harm has been done. There are duties which may need a computer and the internet. Some find themselves working from home. This is a challenge which managers face as the results are there but the offices are closed. It results in the setting of penalties to unnecessary missing from work.

Offices are the main powerhouse for any organization. They need to be heavily invested in. This makes the management duties efficient. It all begins with the choice of the office layout. 

Choosing between the open and closed office arrangements may be an uphill task. With the right understanding of the benefits and challenges from each, this will not be the case. Base the focus on the nature of your company’s internal environment while doing the selection.

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