Types of Office Layouts

by Jill Harness - Updated November 02, 2018
Businessmen are discussing in meeting at cubicle

Every new office needs to design an organized workspace where the employees sit and perform their jobs. Office plans vary from company to company based on the needs of the business and its employees. While many companies benefit from open floor plans, others require individual cubicles for their employees. In many cases, it may make sense to have a variety of different layouts in one office space, for example, private offices for senior staff, cubicles for the billing department and team enclosures for the engineering staff.

Open Plan for Collaboration

Open-plan offices are becoming increasingly common in modern workplaces, particularly in tech companies where innovation and teamwork are critical to the success of the company. Some businesses prefer open floor plans because they encourage communication and teamwork. Open plans take up less space, thus reducing square footage costs and saving money on heating and lighting. Open plans also allow employers to keep an eye on employees. On the downside, these workplaces can get loud, deprive workers of privacy and be potential hotbeds of viruses during flu season.

Private Offices for Confidentiality

There was a time when most employees outside of the receptionist had a private office, but those times are gone. These days, the only businesses that have private offices for all employees are small companies with only a handful of employees or law offices and other firms with large budgets where confidentiality is essential. The benefits of private offices include full privacy for the employee, a quiet environment in which to work and client confidentiality. The primary downside of private offices is the expense of additional square footage and the cost of heating and lighting the space.

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Cubicle Offices For Space Saving

Cubicles use a series of partitions that can be modified at any time, allowing workers many of the benefits of a private office. Cubicles also take up much less space than a private office. Some employees find cubicles isolating, but they're a practical and secure option for businesses like banks that require confidentiality for employees but don't have the budget for everyone to have private offices.

Half Partitions as a Hybrid Solution

Half partitions are like cubicles except, as the name implies, the wall only goes halfway up. Half partitions offer a good balance between open-plan layouts and cubicles since employees are given some level of personal space and privacy while still being able to communicate with co-workers verbally over the top of the partition. Half partitions save space and utility costs, but their use produces a louder environment and affords less privacy than cubicles and private offices.

Team Enclosures for Creative Spaces

Team enclosures are an office layout option that offers a private space for each team working on a single project. Individual team enclosures allow increased communication and collaboration between team members while keeping distractions from outside the team to a minimum. This office layout is practical for businesses where many teams are working on multiple projects, for example, an advertising agency with sales teams and creative teams working on different campaigns.

About the Author

Jill Harness is a blogger with experience researching and writing on all types of subjects including business topics. She specializes in writing SEO content for private clients, particularly attorneys. You can find out more about Jill's experience and learn how to contact her through her website, www.jillharness.com.

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