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Cubicles vs. Open Plan Offices - The Pros & Cons

A question every grown office manager must face in their lives: do we go with Cubicles or do we go with the trend of Open Plan offices? Both have their strengths and weaknesses but it all comes down to a few key points that will help you make you decision. Let’s dive in.



Reduced Sound

One of the most significant advantages of cubicles is their ability to dampen noise. The partitioned walls help create a buffer against distracting sounds, which can enhance concentration and productivity for employees engaged in tasks requiring focus.


Cubicles offer a level of personal space and privacy that open plan offices can struggle to provide. This is particularly beneficial for tasks that require concentration, sensitive discussions, or even personal phone calls, ensuring that employees can maintain their focus without feeling exposed.

Improved Airflow

The defined spaces in cubicles can facilitate better airflow and air circulation. This can contribute to a more comfortable and healthier work environment, reducing the risk of stagnant air and its potential negative effects on employee health.


Cubicles are generally more cost-effective than more complex office privacy solutions such as full partitions. For businesses looking to balance functionality and budget constraints, cubicles can be a practical choice.

Opportunity for Slacking Off

The increased privacy offered by cubicles can sometimes lead to employees using this seclusion for non-work related activities. Supervising employees’ productivity might be challenging in a setup where they are less visible to supervisors and colleagues.

Open Plan Offices
Enhanced Collaboration

Open Plan offices naturally promote interaction and collaboration among employees. The absence of physical barriers can encourage spontaneous conversations and idea sharing, potentially leading to increased innovation and creative problem-solving.

Space Efficiency

When dealing with limited office space, open plan layouts are efficient in utilizing available square footage. The absence of walls allows for a more flexible arrangement of workstations, enabling more employees to work comfortably within a smaller area.

Company Culture

The open environment can contribute to a sense of unity and shared purpose among employees. It eliminates hierarchies created by private offices and can foster a more inclusive and transparent company culture.

Motivation and Focus

Open plan offices can cultivate a sense of accountability and focus as employees are more visible to colleagues and supervisors. This visibility can help maintain a higher level of dedication to tasks and projects.

Privacy Challenges

While open plan offices encourage interaction, they might lack dedicated spaces for private discussions, negotiations, or confidential matters. Finding suitable areas for sensitive conversations, such as conference rooms, becomes crucial but could also be limited.

Productivity Concerns

Some employees might find the constant stream of interactions and check-ins disruptive to their workflow. The lack of physical privacy can lead to decreased productivity, as employees may struggle to concentrate on complex tasks amidst the surrounding noise and activity.

At the end of the day, if you’re an office planner or manager making the call, think of what environment would be the most conducive for success in your business. Maybe the personal shelters of cubicles is ideal for your team. An Open Plan may encourage more collaboration and keep productivity up, allowing your team to succeed beyond your current goals. It all comes down to your approach to building your business and Offisavvy is here to help.

Utilize our Learning and Resource Center to find the tools and lessons to achieve your goals. Visit our Virtual Showroom to build the perfect office for your team. The Offisavvy crew is here to help.

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