If you’ve ever worked in an office, you know the impact a well-designed space can have on productivity and employee happiness.

For most companies, selecting the right setup comes down to a central choice: an open-plan office or a cubicle layout.

In this article, we’ll dive into open office vs cubicle designs, focusing on the benefits and drawbacks of each. Equipped with this information, you’ll be prepared to design the office that best suits your business’s needs.

Cubicles: Partitioned Productivity

Cubicles have been office mainstays for a long time—and for good reason. Cubicles give employees their personal space while ensuring communication isn’t hampered by walls.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of cubicle layouts.1

Advantages

Cubicles promote teamwork by enabling the fluid transmission of ideas, but they’re also effective for protecting individual workflow.

Cubicles provide the following advantages:

  • Individual space – Although cubicles aren’t walled in the traditional sense, they do provide enough space that employees don’t feel as though they’re always surrounded by coworkers. This way, they can put their mind to the task at hand with fewer distractions.
  • Less noise – Because cubicles are partitioned, they limit office noise. This is important if your business requires that individuals apply intense focus to their respective tasks.
  • Opportunity for collaboration - While employees have their own space, they won’t have to knock on a door to talk to another employee. They can simply walk to a neighbor’s cubicle and discuss an idea or challenge.

  • Disadvantages

    Although cubicles do facilitate teamwork more than traditional walled offices, your employees are still separated from one another. This can restrict collaboration.

    What’s more, cubicles can take up significant floor space as each employee will likely need their own cubicle. If you have a smaller business and budget, this can be a hardship.

    Finally, cubicles don’t offer the same sense of community that open office plans provide. This can increase feelings of individuation rather than collectivity.

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    Are Cubicles Right For You?

    Cubicles may suit your needs if your business has the following characteristics:

    • Work that demands periods of intense focus
    • A large office space that can fit many cubicles
    • A need for individual thought in a collective setting
    • A larger budget

    If you’re considering cubicles, note the exact dimensions of your office space and how you want your cubicles to look. Modern cubicles can meet most aesthetic and space preferences.

    Open Office: Free-flowing Collaboration

    Open-plan offices have become popular in recent years as businesses are increasingly driven by creativity and collaboration.

    What better way to spark creativity than to allow employees to bounce ideas off one another in a space that looks as cool as an art studio?

    Next, we’ll survey the benefits and drawbacks of open-plan offices.2

    Advantages

    There’s no denying that open-plan offices are trendier than cubicles. In short, open offices reflect the free, flexible, and fun vibes of the internet age. This is why many tech start-ups have chosen to organize their offices around this model.

    In addition to giving your place of business an of-the-moment feel, open plan-offices offer the following advantages:

  • Unrestricted collaboration – Open-plan offices enable even more collaboration than cubicles. This is important if your business thrives on the constant exchange of ideas.
  • Doing more for less – Open-plan offices are more cost-effective than cubicles. All you need is a large space and a few tables. Some open offices even feature bean bags, ping pong tables, and other employee creature comforts.

  • Disadvantages

    While unrestricted collaboration can be beneficial at times, employees may want and need privacy. This lack of personal space is one of the main disadvantages of open-plan offices.

    Increased distractibility is another potential pitfall. Because open-plan offices are often spaces of energy and spontaneity, employees may become more easily distracted. This increased distraction can lead to decreased productivity.

    Is an Open-Plan Office Right For You?

    Your business may thrive in an open plan office if your company has the following characteristics:

    • Work that emphasizes creativity and collaboration
    • A smaller budget
    • Employees who aren’t easily distracted

    If you’re considering an open-plan office, create intentional spaces for employees to collaborate. Conference tables and chairs can add a touch of professionalism without damaging your laid-back, trendy vibe.

    Open-Plan Office vs. Cubicle? Juniper Has You Covered.

    An appropriate office layout can make or break a business.

    That said, your company’s ideal layout is just as unique as your service and offerings. While some businesses need the privacy afforded by cubicles, others reach their full potential in open-plan offices—and still others need a combination of both options.

    Want to plan a layout that maximizes morale and productivity? Juniper has your furniture and design covered. A leader in the office furniture industry, we can transform your office from boring and cold to beautiful and bold. Juniper is the simple solution for the modern office.

    Sources:

    1. American Design Associates. The Advantages of Office Cubicles. https://www.americandesignonline.com/office-design-2/advantages-office-cubicles/
    2. WeWork. Pros and cons of an open office. https://www.wework.com/ideas/research-insights/pros-cons-open-office