In the world of interior business design, there’s probably no more hotly-contested topic than whether to install cubicles or to adopt an open-office plan. Indeed, the cubicle vs office debate has plenty of detractors –– on both sides. Certain studies suggest that open office designs decrease productivity, while psychologists argue that cubicles make people miserable at work. So how should a business owner lay out their ideal workplace? Today we’ll explain the pros and cons associated with these different design choices and help you make an informed decision that will benefit your company:
History of Open Offices vs Cubicles
Strange though it may sound, open offices and cubicles have enjoyed a somewhat cyclical relationship. Depending on the year, either open-office models or segmented cubicle spaces may be in vogue. As soon as one begins to gain traction, the other concept makes a resurgence.
The Privacy Problem
It’s rare to find a workspace comprised entirely of private offices. For one, cubicles and open-office desks are much more cost-effective than constructing an individual office for every team member. What’s more, most business owners want their team members to interact with each other regularly. Open offices promote close collaboration, but that comes at a price: decreased privacy. On the flip side, cubicles don’t exactly offer complete privacy either. After all, noise pollution is often more distracting than the physical presence of other employees.
A Room with a View
Obviously, business owners want to create an office that bolsters productivity. To do that, though, it may be wise to give your employees a view of the natural world. Rather than negatively affecting performance, the more professionals interact with the natural world (in the form of sunlight, plants, even pets) the better. Natural elements are morale boosters, and there’s also plenty of research that suggests they also improve productivity.
Conference Rooms & Private Offices
In many instances, how a business utilizes the space it has available is more important than the eventual layout choice. Conference rooms, private offices, and open areas all present opportunities for progressive business leaders to optimize their office in creative ways. It’s important to recognize the limitations of your office setup, and to look for solutions to common problems like lack of privacy or inability to collaborate effectively. These “auxiliary areas” might be an afterthought for some professionals, but they can actually bring out the best in your team and your workspace.
The Bottom Line
It’s impossible to decide in a vacuum if open offices, private offices, or cubicle layouts are the best solution for a given business. All sorts of different factors from budget, to the nature of industry, to employee preferences can alter what’s “optimal.” That’s why it’s critical to determine what works for your specific situation. At Key Interiors, we have years of experience working closely with a wide variety of different businesses, and we know how to deliver meaningful design solutions. Contact us here to get started, or for more information on open-office designs, check out our free eBook here: