Survival Tactics for the Open-Plan Office Layout

Benefits of an Open Plan Office - Claritas Solutions

The open-plan office layout has become favourable for many companies who want to take advantage of the collaboration and creativity benefits that such spaces can have. This type of office environment encourages communication between colleagues and departments and can create a great office atmosphere.

However, there are undeniable difficulties associated with having an open-plan office, such as higher risk of distraction and lower concentration levels. These disadvantages have resulted in many businesses questioning the effectiveness of their open-plan workspace.

Despite this, rather than condemning the open-plan nature of your workspace, there are various tactics and solutions that can help make your open-plan office work better for your business!

Ambient noise and lack of personal space can make it hard for employees to concentrate. All of this has led us to reimagine the workspace and productivity.”
— Jeff Lowe, Smart Technologies

Instead of letting your workplace difficulties bubble between your employees, consider the following survival tactics for the open-plan office and see if they could improve your workspace!

Create different work environments to enhance productivity

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It's important to recognise that people work best in different environments, and particular tasks are best suited to different environments too.

Instead of limiting your employees to only being able to work at their desk, create areas that are better suited for collaboration and quiet areas for individual concentration. Doing so gives your team the ability to choose between more sociable and collaborative spaces, and quiet areas without distraction.

There is never going to be a perfect office, but organisations must create as much choice as possible to enable employees to vary noise levels to meet their needs depending on what they’re working on.
— Steve Lang, Savills

You don't need to use partitions to separate different work areas within the office, but having these distinctive zones within the open-plan office will designate specific areas for specific types of work.

Install acoustic design features

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Office background noise is both an advantage and disadvantage of the open-plan office. On the one hand, it's extremely easy to collaborate with colleagues and have productive discussions, but on the other hand, we’re all painfully aware of how easy it can be for noise levels to escalate and become distracting when you need to get your head down and focus.

As we discussed in our effective solutions for reducing noise in the office post, you can source innovative acoustic products that help to improve the overall acoustics in your workspace and reduce the unwanted background noise in an open plan office.

Flooring with acoustic properties, acoustic wall panels and ceiling baffles significantly reduce reverberation within an open-plan space.

In simple terms, they absorb a lot of the unwanted noise polluting your workspace.

Additionally, booth seating and secluded work spaces are great for minimising noise distractions when you need that quiet space to focus and power through your work.

These products can be incorporated into your office design and they also present an attractive design feature that complements the aesthetics within your space.

Space planning to optimise furniture arrangements

Office Background Noise Solutions

The arrangement of furniture in the open-plan office, particularly desks, has a huge impact on the productivity and concentration levels of your team.

Strong office design can make employees feel 33% happier at work.
— Talent Works

Make sure all members have enough space and don't feel claustrophobic in a sea of desks, but don't make people feel isolated either.

There isn't a single desk layout that works for all businesses, so it needs to be tailored to your company, how your employees work and how the various teams interact with each other.

Offer an inspiring space

Open Plan Office Advantages

An open-plan office filled with desks, tech and far too many wires can be somewhat uninspiring, but open-plan workspaces have ample potential when it comes to designing a creative and inspiring interior.

A good open-plan office design will maximise the potential of your space and allow your employees to work productively, whilst creative and branded aesthetics will also boost their inspiration on a daily basis!

There’s now more of a demand than ever for businesses to provide their employees with a fantastic workspace in a bid to attract and retain the best talent to their team!


Despite the various advantages and disadvantages of open-plan offices, there are many benefits of these workspace layouts when designed and used in the right way.

Perhaps your current open-plan workspace isn't working for you and your team, and you're not utilising the space to its full potential? Why not talk to our expert team for help making your open-plan environment work better for your business.

We specialise in creating bespoke office interior solutions for businesses just like yours. We will see your project through from the initial designs to the end of the fit out and will work closely with your business to get to know your team. The result will be a tailored and bespoke office designed to increase productivity and wellbeing in your workplace!