What Is Open Office? Five Open Space Office Design Ideas
Workplace Inspiration

What Is Open Office? Five Open Space Office Design Ideas

|Apr 18, 2021

When it comes to the open space office layout, this is one of Top Office Design Trend of 2022 that can be taken many ways and isn’t going away anytime soon. You’re going to learn about the basic open space office plan options, but we also elaborate on that to help you understand the pros and cons. Plus, we touch on some of the most popular open office concept design styles to help you get started!

What Is Open Office?

An open office space design is a workspace that uses more open space instead of enclosing the employees in offices and cubicles. With an open-office plan, you’re sure to see long rows of desks and no divisions. They also have areas where employees might congregate or change up the environment, such as a kitchen and lounges with couches.

You’re sure to find open office space design options in trendy workplaces, where there are entertainment and recreation areas. There could be craft places, ping-pong tables, and more. They encourage people to get creative and connect with each other.

what is open office

Pros for Open Office Space Design Styles

There is a reason why open offices are on-trend right now. They promise more collaboration and ensure a close-knit team to help solve complex problems. When you add a corner stand-up desk, you can have even more room and the ability to stand and work.

Save Money

save money

It can cost less to set up an open office. For example, using stand-up desks with appropriate ergonomic desk chairs can cost $24,000 instead of $60,000 to set up multiple cubicles. You can also fit more people into a smaller space when you choose an open space office design.

Everyone Feels Closer

everyone feels closer

An open office plan can help employees feel closer to one another and interact more, though this depends on how they are set up. When coworkers are situated close together physically, they are bound to talk to each other.

What does that mean to you? When the employees are closer together with the right stand-up desks and ergonomic chairs, there’s more interaction between them. However, that could backfire because they may only interact with those who sit right beside them, sectioning teams again.

More Transparency

Employee interactions are often more transparent when you choose an open space office layout. Everyone hears everything, so there’s less secretiveness. Plus, it brings on a sense of unity and equality when employees sit next to managers. That creates a bond and trust between everyone.

Disadvantages of the Open Office Space Design Aspect

disadvantages of the open office space design

While the open space office design is becoming more popular, it’s also controversial. Recent studies have shown that there could be some disadvantages to opening everything up. In reality, though, there aren’t any specific plans that work for every industry. However, thinking about an open space office plan means focusing on any drawbacks, as well.

Communication Suffers

communication suffers

Most open office concept design options promise more collaboration and communication. However, that might not be true. Recent studies find that face-to-face interaction could decline by about 70 percent when using an open space office design, though electronic interactions were boosted.

There’s less privacy, so employees might be discouraged from engaging with someone face to face. No one wants to distract everyone else while holding a private conversation!

No Privacy and More Distractions

Because there’s no privacy, there are also more distractions. You may be talking to a coworker, but everyone else within earshot is, too. That means they’re not doing their work. On average, employees could lose about 86 minutes because of distractions. On top of that, you also have coworkers stretching, standing up to work, and leaving to make lunch.

Less Job Satisfaction

less job satisfactions

Losing 86 minutes from each employee because of distractions isn’t ideal. Also, some employees are more distracted than ever and lose passion for what they’re doing. If they lack engagement, the open space office layout is hindering them, and they might not like their jobs anymore.

Though you save money on the desks and chairs, you could lose productivity. On top of that, employees may leave and go to another company.


An open space office plan may also have another downside because employee health might suffer. If you’re in close quarters all day long, you are sharing more than keyboards and desks. Germs are all around, and if one person catches a cold, they all do. With that on your mind, you may face more sick days. Such absenteeism can dramatically (and negatively) impact companies.

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Listing of Some Popular Open Office Design Ideas

Now that you understand the benefits and drawbacks of having an open space office layout, it’s time to figure out some of the top ideas in this category.


Sustainability is a top office trend for 2022. You’ve got a responsibility for the environment and should have an office that’s sustainable. Think about creating a “work at home” trend. Choose a co-working space that decreases expenses and is eco-friendly. Consider buying modern office furniture that’s recyclable.

Work Flexibility

work flexibility

Most people work better when they can be flexible and independent. Though your open space office plan should be about bringing people together, you can also incorporate flexibility by paying attention to detail. Have comfortable areas where people can go anytime to work. Another great choice is to install standing desks so that people can work and stand.

Keep Up With Technology

Your open space office design can focus on technology. Add those newer innovations and take out the old ones. Minimalism works well here!

Sense of Community

If there’s enough room, have community areas where people can congregate and talk. They should have comfy chairs and entertainment/television.

Replicate the Work at Home Advantage

replicate the work at home

If working at home isn’t an option at your company, bring the home to the job. Create a simple open space office plan that has a homey feel to make employees more comfortable.


There are tons of open space office design trends. You can pick one or two of them, or try them all. Once you’ve decided that this style is right for your office, you’re going to have fun getting rid of the cubicles and having an open floor plan. Autonomous has a ton of great ergonomic chairs and standing desks to choose from!

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