its the stuff that matters

open plan...

They can be noisy and distracting or depressingly quiet, and frictions with co-workers are guaranteed - so why do so many of us continue to work in open-plan offices?

basically one large space containing many desks.

pros and cons

advantages of Open Plan Offices

  • Cost effective - saving on average 20 per cent on accommodation costs
  • Enhanced communication - open plan offices make it easier for individuals and teams to interact with one another
  • Environmentally friendly - as they reduce heating and electric bills for office occupiers and make better use of natural light
  • Flexibility - open plan offices give companies more flexibility to make changes to the design and layout of their office space as they expand
  • easier to supervise staff
  • improves communication

disadvantages of Open Plan Offices

  • Increased noise levels - that can make it harder for some workers to concentrate
  • Higher sickness/absenteeism - open plan offices have been proven to increase absenteeism as the air conditioning and working in closer proximity to more people spreads viruses, sickness and infections faster
  • Lack of privacy - private phone conversations or meetings by desks may become a thing of the past in open plan offices
  • can be noisy
  • can effect concentration

The Professionals Theme Tune

hot desks

Hot-desking - the idea that employees don't retain a fixed desk in an office - is a key part of organisations' move towards cheaper, more flexible workplaces. The more employees work from home, the more organisations can shrink their offices to accommodate only the number of people who are in every day.

According to Franklin Becker, a social psychologist at Cornell University, the idea came from the navy. On a ship there are far fewer bunks than there are sailors. When a seaman ended his shift he would get into a bed that has just been vacated, and would still be warm. Or perhaps, if the previous occupant had a fever, hot.

In North America, the term is not thought very appealing. Increasingly the word used is not "hot-desking" but "hotelling".

where are they used?

there are numerous differant places and environments where open plan offices and spaces are used;

for example

  • in schools
  • police stations
  • places such as advertisement companys where ideas may want to be shared
  • call centres

compared to cellular offices

Since the introduction of open plan spaces in the 1950s, there has been vociferous debate as to which is best.

Our complimentary e-Book addresses both open plan and cellular working environments, outlining the benefits and considerations of each to help you decide which is best. It looks at:

  • The importance of knowing your working style and what this demands of your office space
  • The space and cost implications of both open plan and cellular
  • The impact of changing technology on office space
  • How to build flux into your office space

With working over 35 years in the office design and fit-out industry, we know there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all'.