Open plan offices; the pros and cons

Long-gone are the days when employees were cooped up and isolated, open plan is all the rage!

What is an open plan office space you ask?

Think open plan living, but in your workplace. This type of environment is designed to promote face-to-face collaboration between employees and is vastly growing in popularity. This modern take on traditional workplaces sees employees working in one, often sizable, room aiming to facilitate networking, co-working, innovation and creativity. Although open plan offices are a brilliant way to stimulate collaboration and productivity, studies have shown there is the possibility they may hinder employee work performance.

Follow on as we take a dive into the pros and cons of the office layout taking the business-world by storm.


Stronger social relationships 👩🏻‍💼👨🏽‍💼

You no longer need to conjure up a secret meeting with your favourite college at the coffee station because open plan office spaces allow you to see them all day long! As long as you are staying on top of your workload and have a good work and social balance, open plan office spaces can help you thrive! In addition, the model gives workers a sense of belonging while fostering the feeling of being a part of a team. In turn, this can lead to a workspace with no barriers.

Cost affective 🤑

A communal space promotes the sharing of office equipment and resources such as printers and stationery.

Increased creativity and teamwork 💭

Possible hierarchies are eliminated as employees can work together in close proximity. It promotes inclusion in business decisions, planning and projects while also encouraging faster learning, better communication and the facilitation of more ideas.

No more distancing, we beg you! 🙅🏼

Due to the current pandemic, we live in a world of social distancing and isolation. It’s nice to be able to come to work and be in an environment that is, quite literally, simulating the opposite (while following government restrictions and advice, of course!).

Other pros: ☑️

  • Transparency in office culture
  • Flexibility
  • Relaxed and inviting atmosphere
  • More space and freedom


Negative effects on mood 😤

An investigation conducted by The Conversation [include link to article] found that open plan offices can increase stress and negatively impact mood. In turn, this has the possibility to reduce productivity and job satisfaction.

Lack of privacy 🚫

Everyone works differently and some prefer to work quietly in a space they can call their own. If you’re used to your own space, it might be a shock to be positioned in a shared environment, not to mention it can be extremely daunting for introverts. Employees might feel exposed and disturbed by other workers…which leads into the next point.

Distractions 🗣

Discussions between colleagues, loud devices and other forms of noise pollution can have severe impacts on some working practices and productivity. According to a 2018 report [include link to report], 80% of employees cited conversation between co-workers and office commotion as top distractions.

Other cons: ❌

  • Sickness running rampart
  • Lack of control over personal space
  • Extroverts spending too much time socialising


Here at Leeder House, our offices are all open plan. While some of our offices are larger than others, we cannot rave enough about the environment we are exposed to throughout our working week. While open plan environments may not work for all workplaces, we can confirm it works for us and we wouldn’t have it any other way!


Written by Marketing Coordinator Nelly Van at Harby Studios.

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