Open Office vs Closed Office


It has always been an interesting debate on the employee’s preference in either open office or closed office environment. Nowadays, many companies are opting for the open office concept due to its many advantages. However, is it really beneficial to both employee work performance and company performance?

First, let’s look into the benefits of an open office concept and how does it affects both employee and business performance. As many has mentioned that an open office concept allows communication to flow freely among colleagues and it enhances the bond among the team. This also promotes better teamwork as communication can be done with ease.

This concept also allows employees to feel at ease in approaching their managers as they can freely discuss and voice out their opinions without having any physical barriers. Most importantly, it allows employees to avoid the awkward feeling of knocking on the door and guessing is it the right time to approach their managers. Will they be busy? On the phone? In a good mood today? Available? These will all be eliminated with this concept.

From a business perspective, open office concept is beneficial as it promotes collaboration among the same team or even among different teams that can lead to new business ideas and innovation. This will be able to lead and grow the company forward. Not only that, it reduces the cost of the company by implementing this concept as it lessen the usage of materials and utilities.

Opposing to the open office concept, let’s now look at the downside of it and the benefits of a close office environment. There are still companies who opt for this concept due to some obvious reasons. Privacy of employees will be jeopardize by the open office concept. Hence, close office concept will champ in this area. As it allows employees to have their private workspace without distraction. It allows them to focus better on accomplishing their tasks by eliminating noise from the surrounding.

A close office concept also allows highly confidential phone calls, emails and discussions do be done comfortably without fearing of unwanted attention and possibility of other parties overhearing or intrusion on these confidential conversations. It might be even awkward and unpleasant if the conversation involves a particular colleague and he or she might have unintentionally overhead the entire conversation. It will definitely put both parties in a terrible and unwanted situation.

Health of the employees is also another matter to be looked upon. In an open office concept, virus and bacteria may spread freely and easily as there are no physical barriers around. Hence, when one employee is down with a flu or cough, it may spread faster to other colleagues compared to a close office concept. This will also affect the attendance of employees which may lead to affecting the productivity of the entire business flow. This is especially tough on new business or new project which requires a certain number of manpower to ensure smoothness of a particular project or business process in order to meet the expected deadline.

Hence, with all that have been discussed and mentioned, there are pros and cons in both office concepts and it still depends on the needs of the company on which concept that may suit the business to ensure growth and excellence of the business.