How to Convert to an Open Office Layout | LookingFour Blog
  • Blogs
  • How to Convert to an Open Office Layout
author image
Elfie PH

How to Convert to an Open Office Layout


The traditional office layout, characterized by enclosed cubicles and private offices, has been the norm in Philippine offices for decades. But the business landscape has since evolved, and office managers have found new ways to foster team collaboration and employee engagement through what’s called an “open office layout.” Characterized by its lack of partitions and enclosures, the open office layout has emerged as a popular alternative especially among forward-thinking companies and startups.

In this article, LookingFour will explore the benefits of an open office layout and how to convert your current office space into a more collaborative and creative one through solutions like office furnitures. Refresh your office culture with the knowledge and practical tips you find below.

The Traditional Office Layout vs. Open Office Layout: A Review

First, let’s go through the important differences between a traditional office layout and an open office layout. In a traditional office layout, employees are often separated by several walls and partitions, if not entire floors. This is a layout that emphasizes traditional office hierarchies and compartmentalization of staff duties, but it can also lead to isolated work environments and a fragmented office culture.

On the other hand, an open office layout typically features a shared workspace where employees work together in a single, open area. In some offices, employees have the option of choosing a table space every day instead of having a permanent cubicle, which means that they get to sit with and even bond with different colleagues at a time. This elimination of physical barriers encourages spontaneous interactions and communication among team members.

The traditional office layout guarantees more privacy and personal space, but again, it can also hinder collaboration, camaraderie, and collective creativity. In contrast, the open office layout promotes a culture of transparency, accessibility, and unhindered information exchange, which can lead to a warmer and more innovative work environment.

The Benefits of an Open Office Layout


Knowing the difference between an open office layout and a traditional one, you may still be wondering whether it’s worth it to convert your normal office setup to an open one. Here are some arguments that demonstrate that it’s worth the additional investment and planning:

Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

In an open office layout, employees can easily approach each other and begin conversations without barriers or silos. This often leads to improved communication and collaboration. The increased interaction can also result in faster decision-making processes and a more cohesive team dynamic.

Increased Employee Engagement and Satisfaction

The sense of community and teamwork created by an open office layout can also boost employee morale and job satisfaction. Employees may feel more connected to their peers and to the company, which can contribute to higher productivity and reduce turnovers in the long run.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Open office plans are designed with flexibility in mind. Using modular office furniture and adapting spaces into zones, for example, will allow for easy reconfiguration. This helps companies accommodate changing team sizes or project requirements, even on the fly.

Cost-Effectiveness and Space Utilization

Lastly, open office layouts often require fewer materials and construction fees, making them more cost-effective than traditional offices. They can also utilize available office spaces more efficiently by accommodating more employees within the same area.

What Features Should You Emphasize in an Open Office Layout?

If you were to design your own open office plan, what should it look like? Here are LookingFour’s suggestions on what to feature in the space:

Workstations and Modular Furniture

It would be a good idea to invest in modular workstations that can promise flexibility in arrangement. These types of workstations should provide sufficient desk space and storage options for employees while also allowing them to move around more freely.

Collaborative Spaces and Breakout Areas

Next, designate communal areas in your office space, with collaborative tables and comfortable, configurable seating. These will be a boon to brainstorming and impromptu discussions.

Privacy Options and Quiet Zones

To address your employees’ needs for focus and privacy, consider adding privacy screens, acoustic panels, and quiet rooms where employees can work without distractions.

Technological Infrastructure and Amenities

Don’t forget to ensure that your open office space is properly equipped with the necessary technological infrastructure to stay productive. That includes reliable Wi-Fi and charging stations to support employees' work.

Must-Haves for Furnishing Your Open Office Layout

In terms of furniture and accessories for your open office plan, you can be very flexible in your choices. For example, you can use both traditional office and home office furniture to create an atmosphere that exudes both professionalism and interconnectedness. Some of your must-haves when it comes to open office furniture are the following:

  • Ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks. Prioritize employees’ comfort and well-being by providing them with ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks. These will promote proper posture and reduce physical strain on the body.

  • Mobile furniture for adaptability. Consider incorporating mobile furniture, like rolling whiteboards and flexible seating options, to allow for easy reconfiguration of your collaborative spaces.

  • Acoustic solutions for noise control. Implement acoustic panels or sound-absorbing materials to control noise levels and create a more peaceful work environment.

  • Task lighting and greenery. Ensure adequate task lighting at individual workstations, and consider incorporating indoor plants and greenery to enhance the aesthetics and air quality of the workspace.

  • Storage solutions and charging stations. Offer ample storage options for employees to keep their belongings organized, like shelves or metal racks, and provide convenient charging stations for their devices.

Conclusion: Shifting from a Traditional Office Plan to an Open Office Plan

Before embarking on a change that’s as big as a new office layout, you’ll want to think about how it aligns with the company's needs and goals. Engage your employees in the decision-making process by gathering their input and addressing any concerns they may have. You should also pilot-test the open office layout with a smaller group of employees before implementing it across your business headquarters.

If you need to, roll out additional guidelines for using the open office space, like minimizing clutter and disruptive noise. You can also provide training and support to help your employees adapt to the new environment effectively. Finally, continuously monitor your employees’ feedback to the changes and adjust your office plan as needed to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

In the end, converting your office into one that utilizes an open layout can be a game-changer for your business operations. By the end of the transition, your company will house a more dynamic workplace and a more connected office culture—and be able to reap the rewards.

Related Posts


4 Things to Take into Consideration When Furnishing Your Living Room

The living room, or sala, is one of the most popular rooms in any Filipino home. More than a place for the family to rest and relax in, the living room serves as a venue for different important family gatherings and activities, like birthday parties and family reunions. Needless to say, it's an area where families typically receive and entertain guests and bond with friends.

author image
Elfie PH

5 Things to Remember When Selling Your Old Stuff Online

If you play your cards right, it can be extremely rewarding to sell secondhand items online. Doing so will give you the opportunity to declutter your home and get rid of items you no longer need, as well as earn some extra money on the side.

author image
Elfie PH
Put alt text to put on the cover image

6 Online Buying Etiquette Rules to Follow

Filipino consumers enjoy shopping online for many reasons. For one thing, it's often more convenient than in-person shopping because one can shop wherever and whenever one likes. For another, buying online offers plenty of unique options and affordable deals that translate to saving money.

author image
Elfie PH
boxes,cars,moving person

7 Tips for Families Moving Out of an Old Home and Into a New One

Moving out of your family's old home into a new one is a big milestone that can evoke a lot of emotions. On one hand, you might feel a deep sense of attachment to the home where your family lived for a long time.

author image
Elfie PH

3 Things to Do with Old Stuff You No Longer Need

These days, just about everything you can buy seems much more expensive than it ever was in years past, and most consumers will always be on the lookout for ways to save a little extra on their purchases when possible.

author image
Elfie PH

5 Common Reasons Families Replace Their Home Furniture

It's not unusual to part with certain belongings every now and then. That being said, getting rid of pieces of furniture that have been in your family or that you've grown accustomed to using can be a tough decision. This is especially true if the item has a lot of sentimental value or if you're not wholly convinced that you must let the piece go.

author image
Elfie PH

7 Items to Consider Buying Pre-Owned

These days, just about everything you can buy seems much more expensive than it ever was in years past, and most consumers will always be on the lookout for ways to save a little extra on their purchases when possible.

author image
Elfie PH

9 Online Selling Etiquette Rules to Follow

These days, just about everything you can buy seems much more expensive than it ever was in years past, and most consumers will always be on the lookout for ways to save a little extra on their purchases when possible.

author image
Elfie PH

4 Benefits of Buying Secondhand Furniture

Without a doubt, buying brand-new furniture can greatly improve your home's interior design. However, it's an option not every homeowner has. If you're working with a tight budget, you might not have enough cash to cover the cost of a brand-new furniture set.

author image
Elfie PH

5 Ingenious Ways to Recycle Your Old Furniture

When we talk about recycling, we usually think about elementary-school art projects with plastic bottles or those savvy "life hacks" for sustainable home decor. What some people may not be aware of is that furniture can be recycled too—that it's possible to breathe new life into old tables, chairs, couches, beds, and whatever furniture that's been around for years.

author image
Elfie PH