The way we work has transformed significantly in recent years. The traditional office layout – characterized by cubicles and private offices – has given way to more open and collaborative alternatives. Chief among the more open-plan designs is the serviced office – a space that features a mix of shared workspaces, collaborative areas, private meeting rooms, and private offices.
Each office style has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, making them ideal for some businesses but a horrible fit for others. If you’re in the process of choosing between a traditional and serviced office, you’re in the right place. Below, we explore the pros and cons of each. By the end of the article, you should have a better idea of which one will suit your organization.
The Pros of Shared Offices
Cost-Efficiency: Shared offices generally have multiple clients all using the same shared areas. This allows them to deliver high-quality facilities at a low monthly fee. If you’re looking for the best office near the Melbourne CBD, for example, you’ll stand to save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars a month if you go the shared office route. The same is true for most expensive cities around the world.
Enhanced Collaboration: Shared offices encourage interaction and collaboration among team members. The absence of physical barriers makes it easier for employees to share ideas and work on projects together.
Flexibility: Shared offices are often more adaptable to changing business needs. They’re designed to be reconfigurable, meaning they can accommodate growing or shrinking teams.
Inclusivity: The open layout of shared offices promotes a sense of inclusivity among employees. There are no fancy corner offices or exclusive spaces, which can foster a more egalitarian culture.
The Cons of Shared Offices
Noise and Distractions: An open layout can lead to increased noise levels and distractions. Some employees may find it challenging to focus on their tasks amidst the buzz of activity.
Lack of Privacy: Shared offices are often short on private spaces, which can be problematic for tasks requiring confidentiality or concentration. As a result, employees may struggle with focused work.
Health and Wellbeing: Overcrowded shared spaces can lead to stress and reduced job satisfaction. Worse still, lack of personal space and privacy can contribute to employee burnout.
Potential for Clashes: Some employees may prefer a quieter environment while others thrive on the buzz of activity, causing tension in the workplace.
The Pros of Traditional Offices
Privacy and Focus: Traditional offices deliver the privacy and personal space needed for tasks requiring deep concentration or confidentiality.
Professionalism: The traditional office layout often conveys a sense of professionalism and hierarchy, which can be important for certain industries and company cultures.
Control over Environment: Employees have more control over their workspace, including lighting, temperature, and noise levels, which can improve comfort and productivity.
Reduced Noise: Noise is less likely to be a problem, creating a quieter and potentially more focused atmosphere.
The Cons of Traditional Offices
Isolation: A high degree of privacy can lead to reduced social interaction and feelings of isolation that hinder collaboration and teamwork.
Expense: Traditional offices generally require more square footage per employee, leading to higher monthly costs. Additionally, the need for individual offices or cubicles can result in wasted space.
Hierarchical Culture: This may discourage open communication and collaboration among employees. It can also reinforce power dynamics that limit creativity and innovation.
Limited Adaptability: Reconfiguring a traditional office space to accommodate changes in team size or organizational structure can be costly and time-consuming.
Ultimately, you must consider your goals, work processes, and employee preferences to create a productive and comfortable environment that perfectly suits your business.