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Create a Thriving Open Plan Office Design

The design of your corporate office has a significant impact on team productivity, collaboration potential, workflow optimisation, and employee morale.

One commercial interior design layout that has become increasingly popular is the open plan office design. This design removes barriers between individual employee offices, providing a teamwork-friendly environment with a range of benefits.

Open office spaces can also increase employee satisfaction, it creates collaborative spaces and can help increase communication.

Improve Communication and Collaboration With Open Plan Workspaces

Open plan office workspaces are office floor plans that offer a variety of benefits, like improved communication and increased face-to-face collaboration.

Typically, in open offices, all your employees will be sharing one space. This means there will be a natural increase when it comes to the sharing of information, comradery, and working efficiencies.

Open plan office working areas can incorporate many things from a lounging area, shared bench tables, seating booths, table settings, and chairs. In turn, this allows you to create areas for working, as well as for breakouts.

Leverage Extensive Benefits With An Open Plan Office Space

Adopting open plan office design can have countless perks for your team.


Open office layout areas are more cost-effective to set up than private spaces, making them a better option from a financial point of view. They also take up significantly less floor space.


Communication levels are increased on both a personal and business level. Employees can easily access and interact with fellow workers, gaining a greater understanding of each other’s interests and capabilities – creating a more efficient and sociable environment.

Open-plan design spaces encourage staff to interact and share information. They have the added advantage of socially integrating new staff members into teams quickly.


One of the best ways to encourage collaboration in your office is to implement an open plan workspace. Keeping your team in one place in an open plan office layout means that they’ll interact and work together more frequently. Brainstorming will be much easier, and team members can learn from one another and develop professionally.

Employee Satisfaction

Staff feel comfortable and at ease when they have an understanding of their environment and colleagues. Being able to easily connect can increase happiness and satisfaction levels.

New or junior staff easily have the chance to connect with older and experienced members, creating one connected team.

Ability to Increase Capacity

Open office floor plans provide the flexibility to accommodate additional desks and furniture when your company grows.
This is because your space can be easily reconfigured, as you have no, or very few, dividing walls.

Ready To Discuss How an Open Plan Office Design Can Transform Your New Office Fitout Or Office Refurbishment?

We’re here to help you create an inspiring open office space where people thrive.

Open Plan Office Space Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Open Plan Office Layout?

An open plan office layout is a workspace where all employees are working together in one large area instead of separate offices and divisions. In many cases, the design also incorporates a private conference room for conference calls or private meetings.

Some modern open plan workspaces even utilise hot-desking, allowing employees to sit wherever they want. In other words, there are no allocated seats for each employee.

How does an Open Plan Office Design Improve Productivity?

Open plan office design can improve productivity by facilitating direct, face-to-face communication among team members.

This can be more efficient than endless email threads or having to walk to each colleague’s office to discuss work-related matters. However, it’s important to foster a collaborative and productive culture in your company. Otherwise, implementing an open plan office layout can backfire.

What are the Different Types of Open Plan Office Layouts?

There are 4 primary types of open plan office layouts, which are:

1) Hybrid

Hybrid open plan office spaces combine the benefits of open-plan areas, meeting rooms, and private offices.

In a hybrid workspace, there are large, quiet areas that allow employees to work in a less-noisy environment when they need to concentrate on an important task or simply want to get away from the noise for a while.

Hybrid open plan office layouts are great for lawyers, who often need to have one-on-one conversations with clients in a confined, private area. At the same time, they can benefit from the open plan area to communicate with their peers.

Hybrid open spaces are also favourable for suburban medical professionals that need dedicated areas for R&D, reception, and screening.

2) Coworking Offices

With more and more companies adopting a remote or hybrid work environment, coworking offices have become an attractive option in recent years.

Coworking offices provide the ultimate flexibility for companies. Items can be added or stored pretty easily to adapt to the company’s requirements. You may also include some extra office furniture that can be added or removed on demand.

3) Half Partitions

Half-partitions are the most efficient open-plan layouts in terms of space utilisation because they accommodate more people when arranged linearly.

Instead of having one large open area, half-partitions are basically smaller open areas arranged together in a way that allows communication across team members while also maintaining some quietness and privacy. Noise can be further reduced with floor-to-ceiling slat walls or planter boxes.

Financial companies and port authorities can benefit greatly from half-partition layouts. They’re ideal for any environment where team collaboration is a driver for productivity.

4) Plexiglass Partition Offices

Plexiglass partition offices were popularised during the COVID-19 pandemic. These offices make safe face-to-face interactions among employees or between employees and customers possible. Despite being higher, the partition in plexiglass partition offices still makes it possible for team members to see each other.

Plexiglass partition offices are particularly suitable for hospitals or other medical businesses since wearing face masks and social distancing are still mandatory in these environments.

What Should You Consider When Deciding Which Type of Open Plan Office is Best For Your Business?

Choosing the right type of open plan office design is all about the nature of your business and its requirements.

Here are some of the factors you should take into consideration:

Depending on the type of your business, an open plan office may either be a great or terrible idea. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:


Optimising the workflow for your employees is essential for efficiency. Depending on the type of business, you should be able to decide if an open plan office layout makes sense.

For example, if your employees need to use specialised equipment like large monitors, biomedical devices or  printers, your office environment should make them easily accessible.

In some situations, a 100% open office plan can make access to equipment a subpar experience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work. In fact, an open plan office may be better for teams that need to use the same office equipment at the same time, but you can consider half partitions instead of the standard open office layouts in that case.

Again, it’s all about creating an optimised workflow, so go for whatever works for your industry.

Business Location

Your business’ location and commercial real-estate prices in the region can determine whether an open plan office is worth it.

The open office floor plan requires a large space to be effective. In some locations in Australia, leasing a commercial property that’s suitable for open plan layouts can be expensive, especially if you’re still starting out.

In that case, you’re better off opting for a  workspace with separate offices. An open plan layout in a small area is a big no since this will magnify the noise and privacy issues of open plan offices.

You should also consider whether remote work will be allowed, or even encouraged, at your company. For example, if you only need half of your workforce to be present in the office on any given day, a smaller area might work well for an open plan office.


Do your employees need to work in private offices?

In many industries, particularly those with face-to-face employee-client communications, private offices are essential.

In that case, privacy is more of a legal requirement than a luxury, so an open plan office won’t make sense here.

Other than that, you can implement an open plan office layout without having any privacy concerns.

What Should be Considered in an Open Space Office Design?

Below are a few considerations to take note of when designing an open office floor plan:

  1. Keep your team’s requirements in mind
  2. Sketch out multiple office plans before implementation
  3. Control noise with sound traps
  4. Ensure seamless connectivity in your open office layout
  5. Add a separate quiet space for your employees to relax
  6. Integrate one or more conference rooms in your design
  7. Design the space with collaboration in mind
  8. Address your employees’ and customers’ privacy concerns
  9. Avoid any design flaws that could be hazardous, like adding wires in walkways
What Are the Disadvantages of an Open Floor Plan?

While an open floor plan has many benefits, it’s not free of downsides. Here are some of the potential disadvantages of an open floor plan:


Open plan offices can be a significant cause of distraction.

It’s very easy to get distracted by employees chatting at the water dispenser, an employee having endless phone calls, or another one chewing food or typing too loudly. This may impact productivity in a negative way.


Open plan offices can be super noisy.

Since there are no physical barriers between employees, the noise of churning printers, keyboard keystrokes, and everyone talking about different stuff at the same time can get overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to only implement the open plan layout in large areas to keep noise as low as possible.

Lack of Privacy

Open workspaces lack the privacy of separate offices.

Everyone can see (and usually hear) everyone, so if an employee needs to work in private or have a quiet break, they won’t have that luxury.

The lack of privacy may also hinder productivity because many employees hate being “on display” the whole time, especially the introverted ones.


An open plan office environment can be a source of stress for workers.

For some employees, sharing the same office with their managers can be particularly stressful. Many people even feel anxious when they’re constantly within the eyesight of their managers.

However, this isn’t necessarily an inherent problem of the open plan office layout. If employees feel they need to look busy even if they’ve finished their work early or have nothing to do, then you’re dealing with a company culture problem, not a bad office arrangement.

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