How To Create Working Zones In An Open Plan Office

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In recent years we’ve seen a shift towards open plan offices from the traditional office cubicle layout. There are many positive aspects to open plan working; without dividing panels and separate rooms, communication barriers and hierarchical barriers are broken down and teamwork and creativity improves.

Supporters of the open-plan office claim that with no dividing panels or separate meeting rooms, communication and hierarchical barriers are broken down and the workspace is an environment that encourages teamwork and inspires creativity among employees. For a start-up, where workflow relies on collaboration, this layout seems ideal.

However, many sceptics question whether this style of office design is the most beneficial for long-term organisational growth. There is potential for ongoing distractions from work colleagues and a significant lack of privacy. Many believe that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.

Before making the leap to a completely open-plan office layout, companies should assess the advantages and disadvantages and evaluate what is the ideal for their workforce:


Communication barriers are broken down
Ideal flexibility layout that promotes company growth


High noise levels disrupt workflow and concentration
Privacy is compromised
Stress-inducing environment

A recent survey by Oxford Economics shows how open-plan offices can impede productivity. 53% of 1,200 people surveyed said they were less productive and satisfied when they could hear ambient noise.
Define your workspace

In an effort to find a balance between traditional and open-plan offices, real estate developers and interior designers are collaborating with companies to design floor plans that merge the two layouts.

The result is a ‘flex office’, which combines private offices, cubicles and conference rooms with open communal work areas providing companies with a balance between team-friendly layouts and breakout spaces.

The best of both worlds

Adapt’s ILS desk range has been designed to help you create dedicated working zones that enhance the productivity and morale of your workforce. Our ILS sit-stand ergonomic desking can be used throughout an entire workspace or strategically placed in key areas as part of an overall scheme.

Here are some of the benefits of using ILS sit-stand desks:

  • Optional acoustic panels for protection against background noise and visual distractions.
  • Acoustic panel colours and finishes can easily be swapped as workplace needs change.
  • Modular design allows you to add and reconfigure workstations cost-effectively as your business grows.
  • Workstations are quick and simple to assemble, disassemble and move.
  • Memory function records the height settings for up to three people, ideal for environments used for desk sharing or mobile working.
  • Built in cable management reduces the risk of tripping over loose wires or damage to equipment.
  • Data and communications supplies are powered by the integrated panel base sockets.
  • Panel mounted legs create a clean floor area and more space under the desk.
  • Simple customisation with a mix from our extensive range of panel colours and workstation finishes.
  • Complementary ergonomic accessories for above and below the desk.

Whether you’re looking to create work zones to facilitate team working, focus, collaboration or privacy, you can create configurations that meet your needs with Adapt’s ILS sit-stand solutions. Please contact your nearest office to find out more.


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