modern tendency is to adopt the open office instead of accommodating
departments or sections in separate rooms. An open office refers to a large
room where all the departments, men and equipment are housed under a single
roof without partitions or walls separating them. Each department or section is
allotted a separate space in the same room, which is often separated by placing
filing cabinets between them. One or more passage throughout the whole floor
may be provided and desks may be arranged facing one way so as to facilitate
supervision and easy access.
office offer the following advantages:
Economical: Open office enable the management to save rent and reduce the cost of office operations
since unnecessary partitions and corridors are avoided. Open office make better
utilization of office space possible.
Better Lighting and
Ventilation: Open offices allow a free
flow of air and natural light, with the removal of unnecessary walls and
partitions which increase the efficiency of the office staff.
Better Supervision: Only few supervisors are required to supervise the staff. The worker faces
the supervisor and therefore he cannot waste time which encourages better work.
Better Communication: A worker is not required to go to another room for consultation, advice or
instruction. Open office facilitate better interdepartmental communication.
e. Flexibility: There is a greater flexibility in planning the layout of an open office which ensures more placements of office machines and equipment. Further changes in the layout can be effected without much difficulty.
Other Advantages: The other advantages of an open office are:
of machines and equipments becomes possible
of decoration, cleaning and maintenance is low.
grades of staff are placed in the same room it creates a democratic set up.
drawbacks of open office are:
Absence of Secrecy: Privacy cannot be maintained in an open office for the work which is done in full
view of all the staff.
Possible: Open offices are not suitable for work which requires concentration of
mind, e.g., accounting and statistical work. Moreover, distraction provided by
visitors and the general movement of office staff cannot be avoided.
c. Not Business Like Appearance: Too many people working in the same room and moving about their work make an open office look untidy and shabby.
Lowering of Self-Esteem: Loss of individuality,
reduced sense of belonging to a well-defined group and apparent loss of status
among senior staff lowers self-esteem and efficiency of office workers.
Noisy: The efficiency of the
staff may be reduced and distracted
by the noise of telephones and clicking of typewriters and computers.