Open Plan or Cellular Offices?

OK so we might be a little bored by the topic of Referendums, but talk to anyone who has ever worked in an office or just do a quick online search and you can see that this subject is hotly debated and is certainly not limited to the design and architectural industries: from the creative Marketing types, to the expressive Commercial teams, the analytical Finance contingent and the People Change leaders; they all find it can effect their role and have an opinion. Everyone works differently and both of the above options lend themselves better to some teams than others.

The question is: do we really have to choose between the two? Surely to get the best from your team is to provide an environment to suit each role within your company but how is that possible? After all, space is precious and costly and there is rarely room for everyone to have an office to themselves and, in a lot of cases, working alone would actually be detrimental to both productivity and creativity.

Open-plan offices have taken on various guises since the 1950’s, but as more is understood about wellbeing in workplace, we understand that one size does not fit all. What are the pitfalls of the open-plan office and what adaptations are businesses using in order to reduce these whilst still benefiting from the collaborative team- based environment they provide?

We imagine open-plan as being rows or banks of desks, facing our colleagues, or all facing the same way as those sat next to us, as on a park bench. Desks pushed together in a schoolroom-like square: lifting out of your chair to peer over the top of the computer to see if there really is someone behind the monitor in front of you.

If you work in a role where you need focus or are simply more of an introvert, the last thing you want or need is to be in a busy and noisy environment.

Designing the best workspace is about finding the right balance of workplace settings, understanding what is required for the business, the day-to-day activities and the individual personalities.

What does this actually mean?

We recommend looking at how your business functions, what activities are taking place on a daily basis, is it mostly collaboration or individual focused work or, most likely, a mixture of both?

Are the personalities in your business quiet and introverted or loud and extrovert?

It may be that your office design is actually one of cellular offices as that is want your business needs or in my in fact be 75% collaboration space, with limited space allocated for touch down workstations.
The simple answer to the question, much like Brexit, is that there is no correct answer; there are design solutions to provide your business with an environment that it needs, allowing your company to be the most productive it can be. Contact us here. to discuss how we can provide the perfect compromise and unite both sides of the debate.