When it comes to designing your office space, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether the overall layout of the office should be open-plan or partitioned.

When it comes to the overall layout of your office, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you want an open-plan space or a more compartmentalised structure. Each can have upsides and downsides. An open-plan office encourages employees to talk to each other, to get up and move around the floor, and to share ideas, help and resources amongst each other. On the other side of the coin, a more private feel can significantly reduce distractions and interruptions to employees’ workflow, and gives people a sense of truly having their own space to work in.

A busy partitioned office.

When it comes to designing your office space, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether the overall layout of the office should be open-plan or partitioned, perhaps with use of cubicles or individual offices for instance.

In recent times offices have become increasingly about open-plan spaces where colleagues and managers can mingle, socialise and work together with as few physical barriers as possible. However, you shouldn’t make this decision purely based on the fact that everyone else is doing it lately… there are pros and cons to partitioning your office, which he have listed below:

Partitioning Pros

Cubicles used to be extremely popular in most office spaces, as they are a highly cost-effective way of generating a private space for each and every one of your employees to work in without the need for them to all have an individual office. People like privacy and personal space, so this certainly should not be ignored. Other advantages of a cubicle system are:

  • A quieter workspace.
  • Wall space for each employee to keep memos, information and personal effects etc.
  • The ability to add shelves in each cubicle for holding stationery, files etc.
  • Much fewer distractions from colleagues.
  • The possibility of improved productivity, largely in terms of employees’ ability to concentrate.

Cubicle Cons

The new open-plan workspace trend has meant less workplaces are using cubicles or other methods of partitioning. Indeed, some people now see cubicles as somehow demeaning, dehumanising, or soulless. In reality, it is the office culture within that workspace that promotes or removes these feelings, not the cubicles themselves! Nevertheless, cubicles do have a few obvious drawbacks:

  • Increased difficulty in accessing team members and management.
  • Reduced communication & collaboration between employees.
  • The possibility of reduced productivity, in terms of ability to surf the web or chat on the phone unnoticed.
  • Cubicles require more square footage than an open-plan desk set up.

There are numerous options when it comes to office lay-outs.

In the end, whether partitioning your office space is right for your business or not depends heavily on the nature of the work your employees will be undertaking. If collaboration and cooperation are essential to getting the most out of your workforce, then cubicles are not the way to go. However, if privacy to make phone calls and work quietly without distraction is a key factor, partitioning could be the way to go.

Want new articles before they get published?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.