How the workplace structure can limit the pandemic ?

The office is the only place where we spent most of our day times. Therefore many people consider it as the second home where they need to feel comfortable. This subject has many to do with the office layout and the company values.  

Thus in this article, we will shed a light on the difference between open and closed space and how they could extremely affect employee performance.

How the office structure reflects the company vision

Companies structured with private cubicles are very concerned with hierarchy and department separation. They highly consider the employee position and seek for clear mission distribution. 

On the other hand, open space-based companies are mostly anti-hierarchy spirit. They focus on collaboration,  teamwork, and sharing the responsibilities. For them, the close space represents an old-fashioned spirit that reinforces the superiority and vertical communication.

It is pretty controversial to choose one over the other.  But let’s go inside and figure out the pros and cons of each model in regard to employee performance.

The pros and cons of each space

1.The close office 

  • Privacy Keeper

Many employees are annoyed and seem uncomfortable while working in an open space because they feel supervised by their colleagues. However, working in a separate cabin makes them more relaxed and focal.

  •  Less hassle

Working in a private office reduces distraction from colleagues’ sounds and conversations. You create your own working mood and you don’t deal with external sounds that could interrupt your focus. This leads to better performance and more productivity.  

  •  Hygiene and health insurance

Imagine that you got the flu, your colleagues will not be affected by that as you are not sharing them the environment by staying in your private room. This lack of continuous contact reduces disease spread which keeps all members safe and sound.

We may find this very obvious during the COVID-19 when people are asked to stay away from each other to reduce pandemic.

Of course, we don’t ask employees to build barriers with their colleagues. But this was an advantage for people who work separately during the virus peak.

  • Enhance competition

Since the close office is highly related to the employee’s position in the company or in the department. The harder you work the better promotion you get.  Employees will compete for being promoted. This will develop productivity and workflow.

  •  Freedom of space monitoring

Once you want to bring any piece of furniture, plants, or portrait. it is very easy to do so. You are free to organize your room with the different elements you want. And not being embarrassed by others’ opinions or the company layout theme.

  • Access permission

People will ask for permission to enter and that develops respect and privacy. Also having a private room allows you to close it when you are out and secures your confidentiality.

By the end, any business has sensitive information that couldn’t be shown to all people.

  •  A high rate of responsibility

Imagine that you are the director of a particular department, at that time you will be the first responsible person toward all outcomes.  Thus you will do your best to improve the workflow and guarantee impressive performance. Because you are the frontend of that office.  But the perception is that you are more engaged in your work in the close space style.

The disappointing features 

  •  Lack of collaboration

This kind of company architecture reduces the collaboration between team members due to the separation. Once the manager wants to supervise someone’s work, he will face barriers difficulties each time he wants to check the workflow.

  • Performance decline

Many employees behave in an inadequate way while working in the private space. They consider that freedom as an occasion to chat, wasting time, phone calls… the lack of control may lead to a work decline which completely has many to do with the company productivity.

  •  Reinforce the hierarchy

This separation between employees hones the sense of superiority between them. They consider that as discrimination,  especially if that hierarchy is very associated with mistreatment and mastering attitudes.

  • Lack of information share

In this company layout, team communication is quite restricted, thus sharing the information would be more used for important work-related stuff.  Therefore hearing about an event or one colleague’s problem or participating in the community concerns would be limited.

2.The open office

  • Cost-effective

Unlike the separate space where you need to elaborate large space for many employees. In the open office, all the staff will share the same location. In that time you will have fewer spendings in terms of air condition, heating, cleaning, equipment… This financial margin will be oriented to increase the company capital or to develop the working conditions.  Or maybe you will get a salary increase. Who knows 😉

  • More collaboration

Sharing the space with your colleagues facilitates your communication and discussion about the work statements. Share the information and feedback are very important especially if the work is done by a group of employees. However, if you work separately,  you will consider the movement and the disturbing you may result, each time you ask for sth.

  • Easy to supervise

For the manager, this type of workplace is more helpful in terms of controlling the workflow and the team members’ interaction. Also, it is time-saving in terms of spreading information without arranging a meeting and formal attendance.

  •  Flexibility

Moving from one post to another to share the points, is a great opportunity to avoid passive attitudes and being lazy. These movements even if they are few or simple, but they motivate the employee to cope with the steady position behind the desk.

  • Equality

When you share the same space with your colleagues, it gives a sense of equality between all members. They feel they are equal and have the same level of responsibilities and rights. It eliminates the hierarchy and enhances horizontal relationships.

The disappointing features

  • Distraction

If you work in an open space, for sure you experienced disturbing vibes from pressing keyboard buttons, eating sounds, or during a conversation between two persons.

These issues are very common in the open office and that’s an awful problem especially for people who lose focus for any kind of hassle.

My colleagues tease me while talking out-loud, eating with sounds or typing harmfully on the keyboard. I put the headphone but that’s not enough”

                                                                                                                      Sarah an open space employee

  •  Enhance useless conversation

Since you frequently share ideas and dialogue, you will find it easy to gossip or talk about non-related work subjects. This would harm team members’ relationships and influence the workflow.

  • Don’t think about privacy

Many people couldn’t work effectively as they feel uncomfortable because their screens could be viewed by any person. This feeling could highly influence performance.

Studies show that people don’t like to be vulnerable or supervised while working, that has nothing to do with escaping the tasks or doing other stuff in the working time, But the idea that someone else is watching your work or your flaws could rock your thoughts.

Another point in this context, some employees are very curious and they interfere in others’ work or just hunting the opportunity to have a look on. This is very disturbing and may lead to many problems and confidentiality distractions especially if there is a competition between members.

  • The floor  is not yours

If you want to open a window, moving a vase or switch-off the AC, you need to ask permission before otherwise, you would be recognized as a careless person. Many employees suffer from these problems as they couldn’t behave spontaneously.

Each time they want to do sth they need to ask for permission and in many cases, they forget about that in order to avoid disagreement.

  •  Easy disease spread

We mentioned that close space eliminates the infection. while working in an open office you will be more vulnerable to illnesses and infection as you share the floor and you have close contact with colleagues.


Well, the case is not about prestige or preference, in fact, you need to choose what is better working and profitable for your business including the employee’s performance and comfort.

I wish this article pleased you. and as usual excited to hear your comments. see you 😉

You may also like : 

 As an employee or as a Manager: How to deal with Finger-Pointing at work?

Top 6 goals you MUST achieve in 2020!

Best tips to be a SUCCESSFUL Community Manager

8 tips to keep your business performing during the Quarantine 

Post-pandemic: Team management and safety measures

Leave a Reply