Why open office plan is less efficient than enclosed office?

from problem seeking p103
“an enclosed office arrangement may require 70 percent layout efficiency, whereas an open-plan layout can range from 60 to 65 percent layout efficiency”
I am a bit confused , isn’t open plan office including less circulation space thus higher efficiency? can anyone explain why it is the opposite ?

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Hi @xurubi ,

I’m afraid I don’t have a copy of this book and feel like I need more context in order to give an accurate answer…
@coachchrishopstock - do you have a copy you can look at to help provide some insight?


Hi @xurubi this is a good question!
This particular book was written in 2012, and open plan office layouts have come a long way since then. Generally, open plan offices tend to have more communal space than closed offices (like a large, open communal kitchen vs. a small break room) so this might contribute to the book stating that closed plan offices are more efficient.
I’m interested to hear what other candidates might have to say about this!

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In the event a similar question comes in the exam, I would hope additional information would be provided so we could be able to choose the best answer.

For me it helps to think about it as asignable areas; additional areas that support the use (such as the ones mentioned above, break rooms etc.); and non-assignable areas (building services, circulation and mechanical).

Think about a hospital if the areas are enclosed and hallways are well defined it easier to control and determine the circulation and provide a higher efficiency. But when areas become more open and hallways get wider and start accommodating additional uses such as seating/waiting areas or provisional “waiting space” for stretchers wile patients wait for a bed in the emergency room it gets harder to determine what is circulation and what areas count as net areas. So for me it would all depend on the context of the question to determine if those “additional” areas are counted as part of the net assignable sqft or not.

Hope this helps!

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find this link from GSA , their case study does indicate open office requires slightly more circulation through calculation , but with more head count.

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