Open plan office vs enclosed office

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Following on from our previous blog post, it appears that the debate on open plan offices vs enclosed offices is still raging!

We’ve read with great interest an article on the website www.rtkl.com on the ‘Top Workplace Trends for 2014′ and number two in their list of the top eight issues impacting on office design is the ‘Enduring Whiplash from the Open Office Debate.’

In the article, RTKL point out that the open plan office debate is far from new. Several articles published over the last couple of years in the New Yorker and Susan Caine’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, highlighted the issues of working in open plan offices for anyone who needs peace and quiet to be able to concentrate. Focussing on the more negative aspects of open office design such as noise and distractions, the debate on open office design usually concentrates on the challenges that this type of office design can present for doing any kind of focused work.

According to RTKL, their clients still consider open plan office designs for a variety of reasons. Cost often plays a part as open plan offices tend to be more efficient financially and environmentally as they’re cheaper to heat and light in comparison to lots of enclosed spaces. Open plan offices are also known to enhance collaborative working, whilst providing greater access to the outside world through large windows and open views.

RTKL acknowledge that office design is never a one-size-fits-all solution and that the majority of office designs need to include something for everyone. By providing a mix of spaces, for example areas for quiet work, meeting areas and areas for collaboration, this is the best way to ensure everyone’s needs are covered.

Posted April 14, 2014

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