Can an Open Office Affect Your Productivity?

Open offices are becoming accepted in the workplace. This office style can have positive effects on productivity. Also, the effect can be a negative one. If you understand how open offices should run, your productivity will increase.

Open offices have its pros and cons. It can increase or decrease productivity. You must work with all employees in maintaining order in open offices. In a situation where there are misunderstandings, sort the issue out. You should also revert to closed offices with sliding doors if necessary.

Pros of open office

There are so many positive ways by which open offices can affect your productivity. Some of them are:

Team bonding

There is no way your team can be productive if you don't work together. Achieving the team goal goes beyond working on a project together. It is important for the team member to understand one another.

A team member need to feel comfortable with the other teammates. This will encourage free flow of ideas. Understanding and ease of communication among team members is part of team bonding.

When team members are in their respective offices, bonding becomes difficult. With open offices, it will be easy for team members to relate with one another. Communication and free access to one another will improve productivity within a team.

Detailed job

Open offices will make you feel as if you are being watched. In this workplace setting, you will be working alongside your colleagues and bosses. You would get to learn a lot from all those around your work space.When there is a team discussion, you will likely have access to free information. The ideas you learn will make your tasks easier.

Asides that, you will put more efforts into being the best in what you do. Since a lot of people are watching you, you wouldn't want anyone to see you as incompetent. So your aim will be to be the best in all you do so as to earn respect from your colleagues.

Saves overhead cost

There are cost related problems that can affect productivity. One of such is lack of funds for smooth operations. Insufficient funds will not allow an employee to be productive. The management team can cut down the running cost of a business by using open offices.

A lot of money often go into setting up cubicles and maintaining each office space. With open offices, the team can divert the funds for cubicles into other projects. When employees know that there will be funds for new ideas, being creative will become easy.

In the long run, the management team will need less fund to set up and maintain the offices. Also, creative ideas will become easy to implement and this will generate more funds.

Sense of belonging

Open offices give all employees a feeling that they are important. The fact that everyone works creates a sense of ownership and recognition for all. You would begin to see yourself as a consequential part of the business. As such, everything you do will be towards the growth of the company. Since you want the company to grow, you will be more hardworking and productive.

There is a feeling of isolation that comes with working alone behind a closed door. You won't be able to relate with other people as you ought to. This can make you to see yourself as a tool for business growth and never as an asset. If such is your mindset, it will be difficult for you to work hard and smart. The feeling that you are a part of the business team will not be there. Overtime, it is likely that you will burnout and quit.

Cons of open offices

Maintaining the culture of open offices may offer lots of advantages. But there are still some reasons open offices will reduce productivity within employees. They are:

More time for frivolities

There will be distractions in open offices. This is due to the fact that there are more than three people at a time in the same room. Everyone has different ways of reacting to situations. Some people prefer to talk to get through the the day's stress. Other people might prefer to sit still and concentrate.

Some individuals would rather spend hours to gist about their private lives. Such people will spend more time on frivolities and pay little attention to their tasks. Such attitudes will reduce the productivity of employees in the workplace.

Conflicting interests

Open offices can encourage and mare team bonding. At the same time,you cannot overlook it's negative effects on team bonding. Each member of a team will have opinions and interests. So, the ease of communication within team members can result conflicting interests.

Everyone would want to be in the limelight. Also, each of the employees want their interests to become significant even when it's not the best. When such happens, the issue of conflicting interests can cause rifts between employees.


Adeyemi Adetilewa is a digital marketing strategist who writes for publications. He's the Founder and Editor of, an online community for entrepreneurs to share business ideas. His one word is #possibilities.

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