The layout of your office can do a great deal to enhance culture, productivity, and creativity. Largely depending on the type of business you're in and the privacy required, the choices come down to open office vs private office spaces.
Between private office vs open space environments, each has pros and cons that can best suit a range of businesses and fields. Whether you want to foster a collaborative environment, or need a more quiet moment, here's what to consider when navigating private office vs open space, what is better for your business when exploring office space for rent?
What Is Open Space?
When we talk about open office spaces, we refer to office layouts that utilize large open spaces instead of enclosing employees in offices and cubicles. In this open office space, there are typically long rows of desks without any dividers, allowing for more collaboration for a boost to company culture. With these open environments, employees have free reign to congregate in a shared environment, moving throughout the office layout for a more flexible environment.
What Is Private Office?
Unlike open offices, a private office space features a lockable room that is within a shared office space. With a private office, employees can ensure a quiet and secure space. This is perfect for those with many phone calls or roles that require a bit more confidentiality than a communal space can provide.
These private space options come in a range of sizes, whether you need an office for just one person or an entire team.
Pros and Cons of Open Office Space
When it comes to private vs open office space, there are advantages and downsides to each. To start, let's break down the pros and cons of open offices. While these spaces are becoming one of the more popular office space design options, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Let's dive right in!
Open Office Space Advantages
Collaboration is one of the greatest benefits of open office space. By allowing people of all levels and positions to share an open environment, there's room for open dialogue and more collaboration, with perspectives from all areas of the business. This allows for a more open sharing of ideas and a collaborative work environment while improving communication for a happier workforce.
An open office layout is ideal for growing businesses, too. For companies that aren't sure how many office workers they will have in the future, these open work environments are perfect for allowing for a more dynamic, adaptable business. In an open space, tables and desks can easily be shifted to allow for more personnel to come to the office, providing room for rapid growth as a company continues to succeed.
Open offices are also great for your budget. In the old office model, cubicles and private offices took up a lot of space, and cost more to set up, too. In fact, open office spaces have been found to take up less than 1/3rd the space of a traditional office on average - allowing you to maximize your space to suit more people, without paying more for a larger office.
Open Office Space Disadvantages
While the open office plan does allow for more communication and sharing of ideas, this also comes with distractions to employees when they are working. With conversations happening all around them, it can be hard to focus. For this reason, some businesses with open office plans are under a flex work environment so employees can work from home when they need a distraction-free day.
- Lack of Privacy
Another disadvantage of open offices is the lack of privacy for employees. Depending on the business, having private offices to work in will help create a more secure environment, particularly for those that previously worked in a more old-school office space. For those used to private offices, these spaces can be a comfort, with privacy that actually offers freedom from the distractions in the open environment.
- Lack of Permanency
Since open office spaces are so flexible and ever-changing, it can lead to a feeling of a lack of permanency. Especially for businesses with rapid growth, this can create an uncomfortable environment for some who may want to feel more secure and settled in their space. One solution for this is to allow workers to have some personalized items in their area, creating more of a section for the space they feel is their own.
Pros and Cons of Private Office
On the other side of the private office vs open office debate is the private office environment. While private offices have often been considered a more outdated office environment, there are both private office cons and benefits to more private office space options that can suit a range of companies. Let's break it down.
Private Office Advantages
Above all else, a private office offers a sense of privacy that open office spaces don't have. With private offices, workers can benefit from this personal space, allowing them to complete both professional and personal issues in private. This is great for those dealing with more sensitive topics, such as legal, financials, or HR, so that a whole open office doesn't overhear. Additionally, this can be great for salespeople that make frequent phone calls and would rather not have the distractions of the whole office behind them.
A private space is also great for reducing interruptions in the workday. With your own office, employees can focus on their work without distraction, allowing for a quieter day-to-day space with fewer distractions. This is wonderful for those that are easily distracted, or have a heavy workload that will best excel in one space that's separated from the larger group.
- Individual Productivity
With fewer distractions and interruptions, private offices can help promote a more productive work day. In private offices, employees can accomplish their tasks with a high-quality, detailed output that may take less time to complete without coworkers interrupting to inevitably distract them. By focusing in a private room, employees can have a more streamlined day to tackle their own work.
Private Office Disadvantages
- Reduced Collaboration
By sectioning employees off in office spaces, they will end up doing more isolated work, preventing them from interacting with the larger group as much as they would have before. This can inhibit company culture, creating a more siloed work environment with less collaboration and sharing of ideas.
Inevitably, cubicle walls and private office spaces can make employees feel isolated. While this has long been a solution for companies, these private offices leave employees spending many of their days alone, which can take a toll on them and their job satisfaction. By reducing participation in company culture, workplace wellness can fall.
To combat this, schedule social time and breaks for employees where they can interact, allowing them to get the full benefits of the office environment.
When you provide private booths and individual offices, the cost of office space instantly goes up. These office spaces take up much more room, with walls and individual offices taking more time to put together and move in. Plus, each office will need its own essential accessories, which can increase the bill greatly.
Is There an Option of Combining Private Office and Open Space?
When looking at the pros and cons of private office vs open office plans, you'll quickly come to find there are benefits to each that may help your company. So, can you combine the two options? Actually, you can.
Creating an office design that balances both open office plans with private offices included can be an attractive balance for companies looking for the best of both worlds. With this work environment, workers can have all the benefits of collaborative office spaces, with the option to take advantage of conference rooms and private offices to allow for more solo work when they need to focus or are dealing with sensitive information. These independent workspaces can allow for more employee productivity, where staff can take phone calls away from the busy open space.
If you're opting for this design, be sure to have private booths where phone calls can quickly be taken, as well as conference rooms for small team meetings. This way, both individuals and whole teams can spend time in more private offices, with team offices and a conference room to support private group projects and collaboration in addition to private, singular options.
What Type of Workspace Layout Do Employees Prefer?
When it comes to private offices and open offices, the preference for employees may surprise you based on the trends.
According to a survey done by Commercial Cafe, data shows:
- 43% prefer private offices
- 23% prefer to work from home
- 9% prefer open floor plans
- 4% prefer coworking spaces.
Yes, you read that right - private offices are overwhelmingly preferred by employees, followed by working from home. So, while companies have been heavily focused on opening floor plans for a more collaborative environment, many employees would actually have preferred the private office or at least a maintenance of a mixture of the two.
Open Office vs Private Office: How to Choose the Perfect Workspace for My Business?
Navigating what office environment is best for you depends on a number of factors. Ultimately, it comes down to your individual needs and industry, but here are a few questions to ask yourself as you decide.
How Much Space Are You Working with?
The downside to private offices is that they take up much more space to set up these individual environments. For this reason, if you're working with a small office space or expect growth. in staff, an open office plan will allow for more flexibility.
What's Your Budget?
Another issue some encounter with private offices is the cost to install walls and give everyone their own space, which can sometimes require a major renovation. For smaller budgets, skip the private offices and opt for an open space that can be decorated to create a custom, individualized environment.
In What Environment Does Your Team Work Best?
Open-concept offices are typically best for those that work in a collaborative environment as a large group. This is great for those who thrive with communication and want to have discussions with teammates and upper-level management. However, keep in mind that this can leave to more social drama. On the other hand, private offices allow people to fulfill their duties privately without bothering others, which can be great for more confidential work.
Does Your Business Deal with Sensitive Information?
In the case that your business handles sensitive information, privacy will be essential. With this in mind, not only will private offices be of use, but phone booths too that allow for private phone calls to be taken as needed.
Private Office vs Open Space for Rent in Chicago
Whether you work in a creative field where collaboration is key, or in a more confidential field, such as legal or HR, where a private office is imperative, the right office space can greatly foster a successful business.
No matter if you're all about individual offices or open floor plans, 620 N LaSalle has different offices to rent, including private office space for rent and coworking spaces to suit your needs. To learn more, schedule a tour today.
Table of Contents