Open plan vs private offices is often a huge point of contention when it comes to the choice of office or even office fit outs. On the one hand, people want privacy, but you also have to consider space constraints, team communication and interactions. So which office design option will work for you?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for each business. Even within a single company, different business units will have different needs. Some of the considerations that you should keep in mind when making your decision include the following:
- Mobile workforce. Many people work from home or are often on the road. If this is the case in your business, consider ‘hot desking’ where sales representatives for example have shared desk space that is available to them when they are in the office.
- Sensitive discussions. Instead of having private offices for each member of your legal team, you could consider smaller conference rooms or even a section of your office that can be closed off periodically by mobile partitioning when sensitive matters need to be discussed. Some companies are installing small cubicles or cell phone booths for employees to escape to a convenient space in which to make a private call.
- Space optimisation and property costs. Any choice will be influenced by the amount of space you have available, property costs and how many people you need to accommodate.
- Productivity and engagement. There are pros and cons of each office layout. Ringing phones, pinging e-mails and high noise levels can contribute to stress, but being able to lean over and talk to someone in your team also has its benefits.