Open-Concept Office Space Has Pros and Cons

Open-Concept Office Space

Open-Concept Office Space Has Pros and Cons

Open-concept office space has become a huge hit for businesses across the country. In fact, one study showed that over 70% of offices in America have adopted this layout. The idea is to encourage collaboration and improve productivity. The age of the cubicle has seemingly ended, and accessible, open floorplans have taken over. There’s only one problem: open-concept offices are proving to be creating the opposite of their intended results.

The intent of the open-concept office space is to encourage teams to collaborate on creative ideas in order to generate cross-departmental innovation and accelerate projects. Studies have shown that the opposite is actually true – open-concept offices have proven to create a less productive and distracting environment.

Where did the Open-Concept Theory Come From?

Surprisingly, open offices pre-date the age of the cubicle. The idea was originally conceived by a team of Germans in the 1950s. The concept he created was intended to break down barriers – both structural and social – in order to encourage more communication and ideas within the office.

The Problems with Open-Concept Office Spaces


When you take away walls, noise tends to carry. By encouraging communication between employees, it can be harder for their coworkers to focus on the work at hand. Many studies have shown that the increased level of chatter and noise causes workers to cut out the distraction by donning headphones, which goes against the whole point of encouraging collaboration and idea flow.

Lower Productivity and Less Collaboration

When the number of employees focused on cutting out outside noise increases, productivity is apt to decrease. It can be difficult to accomplish tasks with too many distractions and people walking around – which is the opposite intent of the open-concept office.

Zero Privacy is Given with Open-Concept Office Space

No walls between coworkers means no privacy for private business calls, personal calls, or conversations. When someone needs to take a call with a customer or client, everyone around the office will be able to hear their entire conversation, which can pose a huge problem not only to the privacy of the phone call, but also to the productivity of the entire office.

The Solution to Open-Concept Office Space Problems

Offer Private Offices for Employees to “Escape” – This can help those who have a major deadline or just need to take some time to focus. By offering a private area, you are also able to eliminate distractions from small team conversations, phone calls, and other noise.

Physical Barriers

While cubicles are unattractive and often expensive, even offering a small physical barrier between desks can create enough privacy to improve productivity and concentration

Customize Your Office at Pheasant Ridge

Pheasant Ridge offers hundreds of customizable square feet of office space – whether you’re looking to install private offices or go for the open-concept layout. Open-concept office spaces are a fun idea but can lead to a distracting and overall unproductive environment. We can help you plan the right layout for your business with the perfect blend of collaborative space and private meeting areas. Contact us today and ask about our customizable floorplans!