Office Design Wars - Which Style Is Truly The Best?

When it comes to office design there is no ‘one size fits all’. As an employee, we all have different needs and different wants.

But as with most jobs, we rarely have the power to change up our office dynamic and we often have to either ride it out or find another job with an office environment more suitable to our preferences. 

It is said that the most desirable elements of an office space are natural light, live indoor plants, quiet working areas, view of the sea and bright colours.

While nearly all of these elements are easily remedied, it’s the general office design that has the most effect on employees. 

From the confined office cubicles of old, to the telecommuting work of the modern era, the infographic below explores the pros and cons of 4 of the most popular working environments.

Lunch Break World Records

Use This Infographic On Your Website

Just copy and paste the code below into your site to add this infographic to your website

What office design style do you prefer to work in? Have you ever left a job because the environment wasn't ideal for you? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter.

Infographic Transcript: Office Design Wars - Which Style Is Truly The Best?

Workplace Satisfaction & Productivity

The most desirable elements for an office space are:

  • Natural light
  • Live indoor plants
  • Quiet working area
  • View of the sea
  • Bright colours

24% of workers claim Google is the biggest online time-waster, with 23% blaming Facebook.

89% of employees admitted they waste time at work each day.

60% of UK workers are happy in their jobs.

53% of employees said they waste time because they believe short breaks actually increase productivity.

36% of employees need between 1 ½ - 2 hours per day just to manage their emails.

Office Cubicles

Robert Propst designed the office cubicle in the 1960s. Originally designed to ‘save us’ from the pre-1960s offices of old (the ones where all the desks were lined up & facing the same direction like a school classroom). Cubicle workers are the most unhappy employees.

  • A sense of privacy
  • Fewer distractions from co-workers
  • Cubicle walls are re-configurable


  • Cubicles offer the illusion of privacy, not the real thing
  • More likely to partake in unsolicited distractions (social media, etc), unnoticed
  • Reduces collaborative working

Open Offices

Ideal for maximising a company’s space while minimising costs. Bosses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their employees. However, employees coming from more traditional office layouts find it difficult to adapt to open plan offices.


  • Social working environment
  • Promotes a more team-based culture and encourages a more collaborative atmosphere
  • Tears down hierarchies


  • Lack of privacy
  • Increased noise levels
  • Easily distracted by co-workers

Enclosed Offices

Workers in enclosed offices are the happiest, reporting the least amount of frustration.


  • Privacy and ability to shut your door
  • No noise, while helps concentration and decreases stress levels
  • More room/space


  • Less social interaction
  • Lack of motivation - no ‘pressure’ of being watching
  • Reduced collaboration between coworkers

Working From Home

There were 4.2 million UK home workers in the first 3 months of 2014, amounting to 13.9% of the workforce. 1 in 4 of us would accept a reduction in salary if it meant we could work from home.


  • Proven to boost productivity by up to 13%
  • Fewer interruptions
  • Complete control of your working environment 


  • Lack of focus and/or motivation
  • Lack of social interaction with co-workers
  • Out of sight, out of mind; alienated from company developments


New study explores link between workplace design and productivity. Flexible working and recognition linked to happiness at work. - Eltringham, M, (2015).

Infographic: Job Satisfaction Index.

2014 Wasting Time at Work Survey. - Gouveia, A (2014). 

Designing the Productive Office Space Your Company Needs. - Dickens, L (2015).

New Research: Workers Hate Their Cubicles. - Adams, S, (2013).

Privacy At Work: Architectural Correlates of Job Satisfaction and Job Performance. - Sundstrom, E et al, (1980).

ONS: Record Numbers Working From Home. - (2014)

Why Aren’t We All Working From Home Today? - Ferguson, D, (2014).

As with other online stores, this site uses Cookies - Please see our Privacy Policy for more details