is workplace


Below we breakdown each workplace style into a little more detail, also head to TOD TV to watch a short video. 

The most traditional of all workplace styles, typically, management and senior staff members work in private offices, whilst their teams are grouped in workstation clusters adjacent to their manager.

This is a very hierarchical style of working and is generally seen today in legal, financial and professional service sectors where sensitivity of work is most prominent and it idealises conventional aspirations of one day obtaining the much revered ‘corner office’.


  1. Privacy for management

  2. Fewer smaller meeting rooms required

  3. A clear indication of company hierarchy based on office size and location



  1. Isolation between staff

  2. Lack of transparency

  3. Reduction of sharing and trust across teams


CELLULAR workplace



  1. Visible and social connection between employees

  2. Access to management and senior staff members 

  3. Fewer built rooms = lower construction costs



  1. Disturbance from noisy teams and employees

  2. A visible lack of hierarchy

  3. Can be considered uninspiring environments


Open plan offices are environments that keeps teams connected whilst also helping to break down barriers of hierarchy and encourage cross-team working. Typically, in an open plan environment management would sit amongst their teams and to overcome the need for private offices, quiet rooms or shared meeting rooms are located in close proximity to manager workstations for convenient use when greater privacy is required.

Some open plan environments may also introduce hot desking, a practice where workstations are not owned by one individual but are shared by two or more people. It is commonly applied when staff are generally not in the office at the same time and would not have a conflicting need for the same space. This could relate to sales staff, part-time employees and job sharing arrangements. 

OPEN PLAN workplace


  1. Knowledge sharing between teams

  2. Improved morale, productivity and reinvigorated employees 

  3. Reduction of footprint



  1. Adjustment of management styles that value staff on face time

  2. A larger investment of IT infrastructure

  3. Teams may find it difficult to colocate


ABW workplace

Activity Based Working (ABW) came to prominence several years ago with the aim to provide employees with more choice of how and where they work. It encourages individuals to choose a working environment that suites the type of work they are conducting at that moment. Typical settings range from project hubs, and booths to focus spaces, lounge environments and co-working platforms. Employees are empowered to move around throughout their day to perform tasks in the most appropriate setting. It is a system that is based on trust and employees are measured on performance rather than face time. The evolution of concept has been made possible primarily through the development of technology and furniture tailored to the ever change needs of the office.



  1. Empowered and more productive employees

  2. Efficient and meaningful meetings

  3. Employee choice



  1. Investment in a variety of furniture styles

  2. A larger investment of IT infrastructure

  3. Management may struggle to find private spaces 


AGILE workplace


Agile working is a slightly different concept to ABW in that it puts more focus on the team as opposed to the individual. In a fully agile environment staff have unassigned workstations with a variety of alternative work settings that are designed to bring project teams together easily and efficiently so they can collaborate and deliver a project with minimal disruption to their day and their colleagues. This environment supports teams that are typically project based and collaborative settings should provide interactive technology, media or writable surfaces to facilitate meetings, workshops and project huddles.

Occasionally 'neighbourhoods' are introduced into agile environments so that teams can be located together in defined areas to reduce disruption. This 'agile light' model  provides a softer transition into this new style of working, particularly, if employees are coming from a more traditional office environment. 

your workplace?


Designing the right space for your business can save you money, retain and attract the best staff and motivate a more productive workforce. It can also impress your clients and make days in the office a more enjoyable place to be.

By knowing which is the best workplace style for your business you can optimise your physical footprint and potentially save on your rental output.

Understanding what is actually important to your business and your staff and knowing what type of environment will maximise their output will increase job satisfaction and help motivate employees.

If you are moving to a new office space, take some time to fully understand these might be surprised how much space you do or don't actually need.

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