There is more to a workplace than the four walls that frame it; it's what inside that counts.

The set-up of the office design has a huge effect on how employees are able to work. It provides them with the means and the tools to create the work that the business builds its success on. A well-honed modern office design may even help it to attract and retain the talent that can grow and expand that success.

In this blog, we're going to cover the different design types that are commonly found in today's offices. Whilst their set-ups may generally be the same, the only constant with each office design type is that they are bespoke, designed to meet the requirements of a particular business.


The different modern office design types

Due to their different space arrangements,each of these four office types creates a working environment that supports different working styles. They are:

Cellular office

Cellular offices are made up by closed,shared rooms that are designed for work, with managerial offices located along corridors. Such an arrangement offers a large number of storage solutions(shelves and cabinets) and by its definition, a cellular office is equipped with a few rooms given over for formal meetings and social interaction, such as a canteen or break room.

The major benefits of cellular office design are that it helps workers to concentrate; the confidentially and privacy it offers will help to focus people on their tasks at hand. Also, cellular offices offer space for organising meetings and at the same time, allows for people to place more personalisation on their space.

In terms of the possible negatives of this modern office design, it could be the case that the different rooms isolate teams from each other, hindering communication and the exchange of knowledge. It also lacks the possibility to share devices; each room will be usually equipped with their own printers etc.From a management point-of-view, a cellular design also makes it difficult to manage teams and to monitor their work.

Open office

The open plan office is based on virtually the opposite idea of the cellular office; in this case, this design method makes use of a huge space to create a set-up that consists of rows of desks.Although this means that there will be generally fewer storage spaces (when compared to cellular work spaces), usually there are meeting rooms created with mobile walls that can be quickly rearranged when required. In an open arrangement, it's a good idea to give over a few areas of the office to hold spontaneous meetings in soft-seated areas ('breakout areas'). Such spaces allow employees to talk about work or any other issues without needing to book a meeting room, and they help to section off a row of desks nicely too.

The benefits of open office design are that it provides an efficient flow of information and knowledge between employees;giving them the ability to hold quick consultations and providing feedback.Greater integration is another benefit of this modern office design too; not only can teams work closely together,but the devices they use can be shared, which will shave much off the businesses' budget. Finally, an open office provides the possibility of the space to be rearranged and adjusted according to the development of the business; making expansion (or downsizing) easy.

The negative side to an open office work environment is the high level of noise that easy collaboration brings; denying the conditions for people to perform quiet and concentrated work. Similarly,there will be a lack of privacy to work or to document confidentially, and there will be a lack of comfortable conditions to hold private phone conversations too.

Zonal office

Designed to give employees access to different areas that support them in performing certain tasks, the need for a zonal office design will depend on the needs and working style of the business.For example, if collaboration and cooperation is a vital aspect in how the company operates, then meeting zones will be the dominant factor in such a spatial arrangement.

In a zonal office design, desks are placed in open space, often with a number of partition walls that improve working comfort. In order to ensure that employees are able to perform particular tasks effectively, the arrangement of a zoned office should also include dedicated quiet areas (or one-person rooms) for private working, as well as soundproofed areas for them to make telephone calls.

The main benefit of zonal modern office design is that it provides access to zones that support employees in their work; providing them with the option to take better ownership of how they work, rather than the space dictating how they work. The ability to collaborate, work privately, have meetings and hold private phone calls will cater for a more comfortable working experience; giving them the tools to create better work.

Activity-based design

Activity-based office design is a solution that is based on giving access to different zones that facilitate for three basic activities undertaken by employees, namely administration, communication and concentration.

This type of arrangement generally includes a larger number of meeting rooms (of different sizes), spaces for spontaneous meetings to take place, private rooms for quiet working and to make telephone calls and a large, open room to address large groups of the workforce, such as an auditorium.

Activity-based design is ideal for those businesses who wish to create flexible, mobile working within their buildings;desk-sharing gives employees the ability to use different areas, and work with different people, based on their requirements. This will doubtless improve communication, collaboration and integration between employees and technology.

With no assigned desks, this means that there will be fewer desks than employees, which whilst helping to cut down on costs, may be unsuitable if more people would like to work at them. Also, there is no possibility for an employee to personalise a workstation, which will see them working in the same environment every day; not great in fostering a comfortable environment for them.


Create your ideal office interior design, with Oaktree

If you're looking to introduce a modern office design to your building,why not let the experts here at Oaktree Interiors help? Throughout the last three decades, we have been creating bespoke workspaces that give our clients a customisable base from which to grow potential future success.

To learn more about how we can help your business to create its ideal office environment, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can call us on 0345 21 86955 or send an e-mail to hello@oaktreeoffice.com.

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