Open plan office vs. closed plan office: advantages and disadvantages

Having trouble deciding between an open or a closed office layout for your small office fitout? The truth is, each style comes with unique advantages and disadvantages. It’s all about matching your office space to your needs. We’re here to end the debate and help you choose the best office layout to suit your business.

Open plan office layout

Advantage: Easy for staff to interact

If your work culture values collaboration and transparency, an open office is ideal. The airiness and flexibility of this layout makes it perfect for teamwork and building camaraderie. Employees will naturally feel more at ease, while managers will appear more approachable – perfect if your business has a relatively flat organisational structure.

Disadvantage: Noisy and distracting environment

Unfortunately, an open office can create a lot of noise and distractions. If noise levels are high, this can make concentrating more difficult, leading to a stressful environment and reduced productivity.

Advantage: Less expensive

An open office is more cost-effective than a closed office, both in upfront construction costs and ongoing maintenance. Since an open layout promotes shared resources and improves airflow, the costs of electricity, heating, cooling and office equipment will be lower.

Disadvantage: Lack of privacy

Lack of privacy is a major drawback of an open office. Without barriers such as walls, phone conversations and meetings are no longer confidential. Open offices can also facilitate the spread of disease, making it more likely that contagious illnesses will spread to multiple staff and result in higher absenteeism.

Closed plan office fitout

Advantage: Clear hierarchy

Closed offices are ideal if your business has a traditional structure and wishes to emphasise a clear hierarchy.

Disadvantage: More expensive

Due to the need to construct multiple, segregated workspaces, a closed office is generally more expensive to build than an open office. Costs for heating, air conditioning and lighting are more expensive.

Advantage: Easy to focus on work

One major benefit of a closed office is that it provides a quiet space for each employee to reflect. As a result, employees will be less likely to get distracted from their work.

Disadvantage: Low communication

Closed offices tend to foster lower levels of face to face communication than open plan offices, with a higher rate of emails and interoffice phone calls. This can result in a less collaborative workplace if shared meeting spaces are not set up.

Contact the Brisbane office fitout experts

As Brisbane’s leading office fitout professionals, we can assist you with both the planning and development phases of your office fitout. We offer expertise in building both open and closed offices.

Get in touch today by filling out our form or give us a call on (07) 3268 7555.