Commercial Property: How To Choose The Right Office Layout For Your Business

Settling on the right commercial space to buy or lease for your business can be a difficult decision. One consideration is the shape of the office and how …

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Settling on the right commercial space to buy or lease for your business can be a difficult decision. One consideration is the shape of the office and how this will suit your plans for layout and design. There are four main types of open plan office layouts, all of which are suited to particular work requirements and job types.

Cubicle office layout

The cubical layout offers individual office space with high partitions on three sides.

Advantages: This office layout provides the most privacy for employees who need to work autonomously. Noise levels are kept under control and different materials can be used for partitions, such as glass, which gives a sense of space and allows light in.

Disadvantages: Workstations can be dark and prevent employees collaborating; creativity and social interaction are limited. Square or rectangular commercial property makes the best use of the space for a cubicle layout.  

Half Partition layout

A half partition system is lower in height than the cubicle option so workers can communicate while standing.

Advantages: Half partitions prevent some noise and light, but less than a full height design. If the office operates in teams, the layout can be set up in rows so teams can communicate horizontally whilst divided from the team seated opposite.

Disadvantages: Increased noise levels can be a problem for some employees and privacy is also reduced. Assess if available commercial properties can accommodate quiet working areas to counter this. Similar to the cubicle office layout, the half partition system makes an efficient use of space in a square or rectangular office. Commercial real estate is commonly in a geometric layout, so finding a property to suit this shouldn’t be an issue.  

Enclosed teams

A set-up designed for teams as employees work side by side in a collaborative environment. This layout is ideal for creative industries where innovation is welcomed.

Advantages: Collaboration is encouraged in a team layout. This layout can make good use of natural light and help teams to problem solve as a group.

Disadvantages: Little individual privacy is afforded to those in a team layout and noise can be an issue. It’s wise to create break-out areas where staff can have quiet time to reflect and get away from the team buzz. Commercial real estate that offers a quirky layout could be ideal for this office style as desks can be arranged in clusters making use of any unconventional spaces.

Open space

The Open office layout doesn’t make use of any partitions.

Advantages: An open office plan maximises light and encourages collaboration. This can work well for commercial property with a small number of employees, or in an organised co-working space.

Disadvantages: This layout does not suit most medium to large businesses.

A final word…

These are the four open plan office layouts commonly used, each creating a different working environment. Choosing the commercial property to match your intended layout is worth adding to the list of things to think about when searching for the right commercial property for your business.

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