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Choosing the Best Office Layout for Your Business

Your business is unique, and your office layout should be too. Learn why layout is important and which one will best serve your team's needs.



 
If you search for "beautiful office layouts," you'll see hundreds of results showing off incredible interior design. It’s enough to get anyone excited about workspace design, from indoor slides and hammock chairs to treadmill desks and bubble-style meeting pods. But before you start competing with Google's fun workplaces, it's all about finding the right office layout floor plan.
 
Whether you're improving your current location or moving into a new office, we'll help you find the right office layout for your business. After exploring why office design matters, we'll look at the benefits of different types of office layouts to make it easier to decide. And we'll finish by highlighting some tips to help you get it right the first time.
 
Ready to get inspired?
 

Does Office Design Really Matter?

 
In our guide to setting up an office, one of the first steps is picking the right office floor plan. Until you choose an office layout, it's nearly impossible to decide what office furniture you need. Next, you have to know what your workstations will look like and what the work environment needs.
 
But the benefits of excellent office design extend beyond making it easier to figure out what you need to order. Here are some top reasons why it's worth caring about your office layout design:
 
  • It's your team's second home: Whether your team comes into the office one day a week or all five, you want them to have a pleasant experience and look forward to coming in to work. Modern offices with good lighting, greenery, and thoughtful floor plans can help achieve this. Especially when compared to those forced to work in old buildings with low ceilings and outdated equipment.
 
  • It can impress prospective talent and clients: Even with remote work, many people in today's workforce care about office design, and they might even look for images of your office space online before applying to a job posting. Even more, your office environment and design can say a lot about your brand, which can be critical to conveying to the right impression to prospective clients.
     
  • It represents your culture: Your office represents your company culture and what you value. Great culture is something you have to curate, and picking the right office layout can help bring it to life. Everything from ergonomic office furniture to fun meeting spaces can help represent your company’s values.
 
  • It increases productivity: Your office environment has a significant impact on productivity and job satisfaction. While there's some controversy on whether creative workplaces are good for productivity or not, few question the benefits that modern design can have on an office environment.
 
  • It can accomodate for what remote work lacks: With many companies moving to a hybrid work culture, your team's physical workspace has never been more important. That's because you want to make sure your office is designed to accomodate the type of work and collaboration that might be harder to attain with everyone working over Slack and Zoom.
 
It's safe to say that, yes, your office layout, floor plan, and design matter. A lot. And we'll help you choose the perfect template for your office so that you can spend more time focusing on running your business.
 

4 Top Office Layout Floor Plan Ideas

 
These office layout ideas will focus on how the work areas are structured. Conference rooms, built-in private offices, break areas, and more are essential. But it's more convenient to figure everything else out after you nail down your main design ideas.
 
Keep reading to find the best office floor plan design for your space.
 

1. Cubicle Office Layout

 
Who it's best for: Detail-oriented workers like programmers, analysts, accountants, and other technical staff.
 
This one's a classic. The cubicle office layout came about in the 1960s and is still one of the most popular corporate options. This layout uses partition walls to divide the entire office into private spaces for employees. The cubicles can either stretch in rows across the office space or use a quad formation.
 

Pros of a Cubicle Office Layout

 
  • Offers privacy and a sense of ownership for each employee
  • Promotes equality by giving each employee the same amount of square feet
  • Encourages focus and limits distractions
  • Allows you to divide a layer area into several small offices
  • Works well for a small or large number of employees 
 

Cons of a Cubicle Office Layout

 
  • Requires more floor space than other office layouts 
  • Can limit natural light exposure
  • Limits direct communication between employees
 
If you go with a cubicle office layout, freestanding partitions can help make it feel more modern.
 
Pro tip: You can turn a cubicle layout into a half-partition layout by choosing "desk height" 54-inch partitions instead of standing height 72-inch partitions. This alternative gives visual barriers to create a sense of privacy while encouraging collaboration.
 

2. Open Office Layout

 
Who it's best for: Employees of tech and creative firms that regularly collaborate in a fast-paced environment.
 
An open-plan office design is one of the most popular office layouts among modern companies. Open-concept designs break down the walls and emphasize open space. They feature large tables shared by several employees with no (or low) partitions and chairs positioned along both sides. This helps enhance communication and collaboration.
 

Pros of an Open Office Layout

 
  • Enhances communication and encourages employees to share knowledge
  • Inspires creativity in the workplace
  • Allows employees to make quicker decisions
  • Reduces costs of furnishing an office building
  • Works well in small offices
  • Makes office space planning easier
 

Cons of an Open Office Layout

 
  • Sacrifices employee privacy and storage
  • Can cause distraction for some workers and harm productivity
 
If you go with an open floor plan, low partitions are an affordable option for adding a bit of privacy or workspace definition.
 
Pro tip: Protect employee security with locking desk drawers, lockers, or filing cabinets so that people can keep possessions safe. And consider adding an out-of-the-way living-room-like area, complete with noise-canceling headphones and private nooks for when employees need fewer distractions.
 

3. Cluster Office Layout

 
Who it's best for: A cluster office layout is ideal for employees who work in separate teams and rely heavily on communication, interaction, and meetings.
 
In a cluster office layout, the office floor plan accommodates groups of employees seated together for improved collaboration. Instead of using meeting rooms for collaboration, the office layout is divided into separate zones designed for individual teams. The form and size of the clusters will vary based on the number of employees per team, ranging from multiple quad desks for dividing small groups to separating the workplace into two or three chunks for bigger teams.
 

Pros of a Cluster Office Layout

 
  • Fosters a smooth flow of communication between team members
  • Supports group-based tasks
  • Saves space in smaller building plans
  • Strengthens team building
  • Promotes a productive team workflow 
 

Cons of a Cluster Office Layout

 
  • Can cause distraction for some workers
  • Limits individual space
  • Creates confusion for members that work across different teams
 
A cluster office layout floor plan can use partitions to give each team their privacy and low partitions between workstations to help employees focus. And just like with an open plan, providing security options like locking desks and filing cabinets is important.
 
Pro tip: Take a deep look at your company's organization chart to ensure this method would make sense for how your company is structured. If your teams tend to work in silos, this model will work great; however, if you have multiple folks that work across disciplines and teams, you may want to consider another type of floor plan.  
 

4. Hybrid Office Layout

 
Who it's best for: A hybrid office layout is best for a dynamic office with diverse employees and teams.
 
A hybrid office layout is the most customizable option. It's a balanced solution that addresses the drawbacks of cubicles, open plans, and cluster layouts. You'll mix and match these different plans to create a more versatile floor plan. For example, you might combine an open space area with multiple cubicles for employees who prefer them.
 

Pros of a Hybrid Office Layout

 
  • Is easy to change, rearrange, and customize
  • Gives employees control over where and how they want to work
  • Improves employee satisfaction, mood, and productivity by catering to individual needs
 

Cons of a Hybrid Office Layout

 

  • Requires more square feet to accomodate the different environments
  • Can increase exposure to noise and people, which can distract some workers
 
A hybrid office layout allows you to combine the floor plan examples you like into one effective space. And it's customizable, allowing you to meet the needs of a diverse workforce.
 
Pro tip: If you have an established business with existing employees, take a survey to get an idea of what they'd like to see in a hybrid floor plan design. This will ensure that you strike the right balance between all the different types of environments (collaboration zones, private suites, phone booths, etc.) so that you don't over- or under-invest in one specific layout.
 

Office Layout Tips and Tools

 
OK, so you've picked a layout, now what? It's time to start figuring out the details, and we're here to help. Below are some tips and tools to help you design your new office layout without a hitch:
 
  • Consider coworking spaces: Small businesses and startups can benefit from renting a coworking office space. You can rent as much or as little space as you need, which is excellent for staying on budget.
 
  • Don't skimp on the break area: No matter what office layout floor plan you choose, don't forget to make a nice break area. Your workers will appreciate a nice spot to enjoy their food and take breaks. A microwave, refrigerator, coffee pot, sink, dishwasher, and dining room table are good starting points.
 
  • Ditch uncomfortable office furniture: Poor ergonomics isn't good for your employees’ wellbeing. If you have old, uncomfortable office furniture, it's time to upgrade. Your employees will thank you.
 
  • Choose good lighting: Natural lighting and "daylight bulbs" can help make your workplace happier and more productive, no matter what office layout you choose. Dim and harsh lighting options aren't conducive for productivity in the office.
 
  • Try office floor plan software: Smartdraw, Sketchup, and other office floor plan software providers can make this whole process easier. And they usually include floor plan templates to save time.
 
  • Furnish from one source: Buying all of your office furniture from a single source can help keep costs low. The same is true for computers and tech equipment. Look for bundles and bulk deals when you're ready to buy.
 
Whether you're working with a large or small space, these tips will help you create an excellent office layout and design. In addition, they’re sure to make your employees feel valued, and no one can argue with that!
 

Create an Office You Love

 
When choosing an office layout, first consider your company culture, working environment, and team structure to pick the best option for your business. And then use our tips and tools to make the process easier.
 
If you need help figuring out what office furniture to buy, our Build My Office feature will do the work for you.
 
And when you’re ready to buy, head to our shop to browse desks, tables, chairs, accessories, and bundles. And for those who plan to use panels and partitions, check out our buyer’s guide for help.

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