Choosing between office cubicles or an open workspace is an important decision for new and old businesses. Business owners and teams must consider office culture, productivity, client privacy and other variables. Here’s a quick checklist of the pros and cons of installing cubicles in your office.
Pro: Enhances Communication
Newsrooms, law enforcement offices and tech start-ups have all benefited from open workspace layouts. Industries that rely on quick responses to shifting environments see high productivity and better outcomes when all team players share information and remain updated on project progress.
Con: Enhanced Communication Increases Noise Pollution
Not all industries rely on instant communication. If your organization isn’t reliant on full-time collaboration then it is important to provide your employees with private areas. This kind of private space, reduces noise pollution, improves focus and increases productivity.
Pro: Creates a Positive Company Culture
Aside from being able to communicate openly with colleagues, an open office creates a sense of transparency. In this setting, all employees are equal. Everyone has the same office furniture and equipment and it is usually selected by the team itself. There are no closed-door conversations and colleagues who need a bit of quiet can opt for noise-canceling headphones without losing visibility and connection with the rest of the team.
Con: Less Private Work Space
Granted, this could be a positive thing depending on what you are looking for. Office cubicles offer employees the chance to establish comfortable boundaries. Since studies show that open office layouts can cause stress to some individuals, it is important to offer quiet spaces throughout the office so that employees who need downtime, quiet workspace or less face time with their colleagues can take a needed break.
Pro: Can Increases Functional Productivity
Sales representatives need access to information quickly and across teams in order to close a deal. Marketing teams need space to brainstorm strategies, share information and form campaigns that align with sales goals. Since many sales teams are out in the field and marketers are working in-office, an open floor plan allows for a physically interactive informal place for minds to meet throughout the day.
Con: Can Cause Un-needed Distractions
Regulated industries such as finance, law, real estate, insurance and healthcare require a great deal of client privacy. Even an overheard phone conversation can violate federal and local laws. Office cubicles create enough space to provide the necessary amount of privacy but still maintain enough flexibility and proximity to create an inclusive company culture.
The choice between an open floor plan or a row of cubicles isn’t an either/or decision. More and more offices are using a variety of office furniture in Utah like long tables, partial screens, couches and other design elements to create combinations of open space and private areas.
Include employees in your office redesign decisions and consider consulting with an office planner. This individual can offer innovative solutions and act as a mediator between employees and management. With the right design, new office furniture and layout, there is no reason for productivity and company culture to be in conflict.