Office Layout

Office Layout

Office layout is determined by a number of factors.

  • Size of room or the amount of space available
  • Number of people working in the office
  • Types of work being carried out
  • The most efficient use of the spaces available
  • Security

There are four general types of office layout, which are detailed as follows.

  • Small closed offices linked by corridors
  • Open-plan offices
  • Landscaped offices
  • A mixture of closed and open offices


  1. Small closed offices linked by corridors

There types of office were common in the days when purpose-built office accommodation was rare, and business used premises which were originally built as houses or shops.


  • More private
  • More peaceful
  • More secure


  • Supervision of staff is more difficult
  • Communication between employee is hindered
  • Team working is not encouraged.

  1. Open-plan offices

Open-plan offices generally make better use of a large space than small closed offices. It has been estimated that a 33% space saving is a possible with this type of office. Open-plan offices generally accommodate many levels of staff from clerks to managers and directors.


  • Supervision of staff is easier
  • Communication between employee is enhanced
  • Working flows through the office quicker (there are no barriers in the way)
  • Team working is encouraged
  • Maintenance costs, such as heating and lighting, are lower
  • Offices may be rearranged more easily if required
  • Bright, spacious and well-ventilated.


  • Difficult to find any privacy
  • Noisier (Machines, and background noise)
  • Impersonal
  • Little security as doors cannot be locked
  • Many distractions, e.g. people moving above, phones ringing, people talking.


  1. Landscaped offices

These are a variation of the open-plan system, but they have the added bonus of overcoming some of the disadvantages of open-plan offices. Desks and equipment are positioned so as to create small groups of people who need to exchange information or share facilities. These offices may be broken up by placing moveable screens, filling cabinets and large pot plants into such positions that they increase privacy and cut down on noise and distractions in the office.


  1. A mixture of closed and open offices.

In order to allow managers some degree of privacy for meetings, or perhaps to give them a sign of status, some organizations provide closed offices for management and place all other staff in an open-plan office.

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