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My company is growing and we’re moving into a new office space within the next 2 months. I’m in the process of deciding how much of the office is going to be open space style vs. closed offices. I know every office is different and there are a lot of variables to take into consideration, but I wanted to know if anyone would be willing to share any floor plans, photos, office layouts, design ideas etc. to help visualize what may be working for your space. Any feedback from either yourself or your team on the pros vs. cons of your current space or setup would also be valuable. Any files or images that you cannot upload here or that are private you can send to me via email at
As an employee of an agency (I work on operations, project management software, and finance support), the combination of open and closed office space is something I think is really important. There are times that my particular tasks would be well fitted to a closed office area. For our strategy team and creative team, we've separated them (more based on logistics, but has had some pros to it):
- The strategy team tends to be more talkative, while the creative team values the quiet. There are multiple collaborative areas for groups to get together away from the general desk areas.
- The strategy staff (account directors and project managers) sit in pairs, either back to back or face to face, and that works well for the periodic communications needed through out the day.
The big issue is distraction: open space is great when you need to collaborate, but the noise and additional distractions can reduce productivity and the concentration needed for creative thinking. Every space is different, and flexibility (movable walls and furnishings) can be a great solution if you aren't sure how to best use the space until you are actually in it. Read the article and call us if you need a objective ear to talk into.
I totally agree with with our friends who have replied already. The ALL OPEN CONCEPT does not work. It's too distracting. Our agency has 10 offices and a conference room surrounding an open area. The open area has a conference table, couch, 2 chairs and 3 “intern desks” (along with the water cooler, fridge, coffee maker and Sonos sound system playing tunes). This way, our team members get some solitude when they are in “Gear 5” — getting the big stuff done, or they can come out and work in the open areas when they want some interaction “Gear 3 or 4” (we work on a 5 gears system of busyness). Doors are almost always open, but the distractions are kept down when you have an office (sorry, interns).
If you'd like to discuss more, feel free to reach out!
What's the agency's DNA and core values? What's your workflow processes? Who touches what and when? How impromptu are meetings? Who's part of the creative process? Do they work in teams or solo? How does your creative process work? How do employees interact?
Your brand's DNA has to live, breathe, and communicate your company's DNA through the interior design of your office via finishes, textures, colors, workflows, etc. So before you start any planning, start with that. Begin by asking; what do you want the office to communicate?
Do you want to promote healthy living? Then a fully open concept is not appropriate. The open concept also doesn't allow for creative thinking either. Private offices, pods or cocoons will be necessary. Standing desks will be necessary. Depending on how large the office space will be, you might want to incorporate a walking track into the office and hold walking meetings. They're great for mental stimulation.