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Traditional VS Open Office Design | Giant Leap


If you’re planning the design of an office space, perhaps the first, and the most important decision you will have to make is your office’s layout.  There are two major types of office layout that people consider when making this decision: traditional office design and open office design. 

The concept of office design is evolving with the growing understanding of how employees are motivated and how it affects productivity.

How Office Design Affects Productivity?

One of the main reasons employers pay attention to office design is that it can directly impact employee productivity. Offices should be designed according to the needs of the people making use of it. 

Well-designed office space can encourage faster and more effective completion of work tasks and positively impact employee morale, health, and well-being. These, in turn, increase productivity at work. 

Conversely, a poorly designed workspace has adverse effects on morale, turnover, and productivity. Research indicates 87% of employees would like a healthier office, and 93% of tech workers would stay longer at a job that offers a healthier workplace. 

When it comes to productivity, 97% of workers believe that a lack of effective collaboration negatively affects project outcomes. At the same time, an average worker can spend up to 28% of their time at work dealing with unwanted and unnecessary interruptions and distractions. 

With the proper office design and layout for your workplace, productivity can improve, and disturbances can decrease dramatically.

Traditional V/S Open Layout Which Is Best?

Even after an employer understands the need for a well thought out office layout, choosing a suitable design can pose a challenge. Each option offers its pros and cons.

Keeping office design and productivity in mind means weighing these advantages and disadvantages against your workplace and employment sector’s unique demands. 

  • Traditional Layout: A conventional office layout means closed working areas. Employees are separated from coworkers by the walls of their own space. There are several advantages to this layout, notably the privacy it offers and its ability to minimize distractions effectively. And this allows employees to focus more on the task at hand and can result in better – and more focused – outcomes. Here, office design and productivity are closely related.

This layout is a popular option in workspaces that require their employees to concentrate on their jobs and in sectors that benefit from a quiet workspace. Such workspaces include accounting agencies, the financial sector, law firms, and other similar businesses. 

However, this layout also has its drawbacks. They are most costly for a business to build and maintain. Furthermore, it is harder to supervise each employee in a traditional layout, as a supervisor must visit each worker in their cubicle.

  • Open Office Design: Open layouts, on the other hand, tend to be better for collaboration. It is easier for employees to interact amongst themselves, resulting in higher energy levels among workers and a more social workspace. This is why this layout is the choice for businesses that rely on teams and require high employee engagement for positive work outcomes.  

This office design and layout is also far more cost-friendly to the business. And it’s because more people can be accommodated per square metre than in a traditional office environment, and furniture demands are fewer. 

However, keep in mind that there are negatives as well. Higher engagement and interaction tend to mean more noise and distractions, affecting concentration on work tasks. Furthermore, like any interpersonal environment, greater socialization means a greater risk for conflicts between people. In an open environment, managers must be capable of heading off any discontent amongst employees. 

Your office design affects productivity and morale 

Ultimately, deciding on an office layout requires taking stock of your business’s demands and the jobs your employees will perform. For instance, a marketing firm will have different requirements than a call centre, and office design must consider these differences. To help you make the decision between a traditional layout and an open layout for your office space, contact Giant Leap Workspace Specialists.