Navigating the Pros and Cons of Open Plan Offices

When it comes to open plan offices and shared workspaces, there are always going to be pros and cons. In this blog, we are going to look at some of these issues, so you can determine whether an open work environment is right for your organisation or whether there will be drawbacks to an open plan space. We will touch on the benefits and how to deal with any cons such as noise or privacy concerns.

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understanding open plan offices

Before deciding on whether an open plan office is right for your business, it’s important to understand what that truly means. An open work environment is simply that, it is one open room where all your employees work on the same floor, in the same space, encouraging a more collaborative office design, as well as encouraging creativity and engaging workspace. However, with a shared workspace, there can also be some drawbacks to consider.

Benefits of Open Workspaces

There are many advantages to shared workspaces, and these can have a great impact on your organisation. Known for unlocking collaboration in the workplace, open plan offices can have a positive impact on your employees and their productivity. Creating a dynamic and inclusive workspace, open plan offices offer a relaxed alternative to environments such as office cubicles where you may not have much or any interaction with another human throughout the day.

Drawbacks of Open Work Environments

When it comes to shared workspaces, it is inevitable that there will be some drawbacks. One of the main drawbacks is noise concerns in open offices, with your entire workforce in one space, it is unavoidable that the noise levels throughout the day may rise. Another setback of open plan offices is the distraction of others, as this shared space environment encourages communication and collaboration, it is easy to get distracted by conversations unrelated to work.

designing effective workspaces

When choosing an open workspace, it is crucial to get the design elements right and find the style of open plan office that best suits your organisation. Addressing any privacy concerns your employees may have about the shared workspace and ensuring everyone within the room is comfortable is important to succeeding in an open working environment and keeping staff productivity high.


Strategies for Maximizing Collaboration

When it comes to maximising collaboration in an open working environment, it is fundamental to put the right strategies in place. There needs to be a level of flexibility in office design to allow for any changes that may need to be made in the future. Creating spaces for both teamwork and individual focus is essential for giving a balanced approach to the shared workspace.

Addressing Privacy Concerns

As mentioned above, there are always going to be privacy concerns for some people when it comes to open plan offices. Balancing collaboration and contemplation in office design is important when trying to resolve any privacy issues and by providing your employees with the opportunity for both an open plan office and by including privacy pods in shared workspaces, your workforce has the best of both worlds.

employee well-being in open offices

The well-being of your employees should be your primary focus when trying to maximise collaboration in office layout in your open working environment. Providing break-out areas for employee relaxation can add to employee happiness and productivity, all of which will benefit your organisation. Adapting to changing work environments can be challenging for some employees, so taking into consideration their well-being is important if your organisation is looking to change the working environment.

Ergonomics in Open Work Environments

Furniture for open work environments needs to be considered and offering your workers appropriate furniture for their working environment can have many benefits. Ergonomic furniture in open workspaces supplies your employees with the comfort they need to complete their job successfully with no distractions such as an uncomfortable chair that’s causing back problems meaning your employee won’t be able to work at their highest level.

Managing Stress in Open Workspaces

Managing stress in shared workspaces is crucial to employee well-being, in an open working environment, all your workforce is in the same environment, meaning that if one employee is stressed then it can have an impact on the whole team. In supplying break-out areas for employee relaxation and privacy pods in shared workspaces it is easier for employees to manage their stress levels by removing themselves to a quieter area of your organisation.


When it comes to unlocking collaboration in the workplace, there are many pros and cons of an open working environment that need to be taken into consideration. Although an open plan office can lead to successful collaboration and communication between your employees there can be some setbacks such as noise and privacy problems. To be successful with a shared workspace, it is crucial to find a balanced approach to office design, by providing areas for privacy or individual work to reduce stress and improve employee satisfaction and well-being. Here at Vanguard Contracts, we specialise in transforming your workspace and can support you in finding the perfect shared workspace solutions for your business and your employees.

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