Open vs Closed office space

Anne Voigt Kjaer
Anne Voigt Kjaer

People work in different ways and places in the office. Some work in a closed office space, while others work in an open office space. Reasons for this could be that it shows a hierarchy or maybe to save some costs, but what is the best way to work, when working in an office space? Here are some pros and cons to the question.

The benefits of an open office space

Collaboration between coworkers

Being in an open office space with your colleagues gives you the chance to communicate and collaborate more with them, compared to sitting in an isolated office by yourself, which can make you feel less motivated. But when you’re close to your colleagues you have the opportunity to share ideas and discuss everything. The goal of every business is to maximize the success as much as possible. Each team member is an important resource for the company, which also means that it is important to use each other as a work tool.

Natural light

It is important not to underestimate the importance of natural light on a daily basis. It is quite commonly known that natural light helps the human body produce vitamin D. We actually need it to build strong bones in our bodies. Natural sunlight does not give us vitamin D directly, but it helps the body produce it on its own.

Furthermore, natural light helps us focus and be more productive. It is particularly in the workplace, where natural light has been linked to improve focus and morale.

Cost effective

When not taking the coronavirus into consideration open office spaces are significantly more cost-effective than closed. The reason for this is that closed office spaces require heating, air conditioning and cleaning in every room, but with an open space, it can all be done within one room.

The benefits of a closed office space

Fewer distractions

Having walls surrounding the employees protects them from potential distractions in the form of other employees trying to talk to them or making noise. Besides that many feel watched when working in open spaces, which distracts and takes the focus from the work. When you’re alone it gives a better opportunity to dive into your work and focus better.

Health benefits

The closed office spaces keep the germs from spreading too much between employees. So, when people are separated it also takes away the sharing of office supplies and therefore stops germs from spreading in that way.
But it is not only for physical wellbeing, but also for mental wellbeing. When you’re sitting in an open workspace you can easily feel the pressure of performance. This pressure can stress out workers and make them feel like they have to show a constant performance.

Clear hierarchical order

With closed office spaces they outline a clear hierarchical structure in the workplace. This is necessary for the chain of command to be effective. Of course, there should be general respect in all areas, but an outline of who’s the boss and has the authority is important. The typical idea of this outline is that, the more senior or higher in the hierarchy an employee is, the better the office the person will have.

How to choose which office space

The real question to ask is; Which kind of office space would you choose? It is important that you take the kind of work that needs to be done into consideration. Every company is different and you have to find the space that works best for your company. Maybe try out different temporary options first, and then you can decide the way for the company.

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