Giving Up the Private Office

Are you thinking about giving up your private office? Here's what two managing principals learned from making the transition.

Workspace is evolving. From private offices and traditional cubicles, to completely open floor plans and back. As we watch the pendulum swing one thing is certain, when it comes to office space there is no one size fits all solution.

While some need enclosed space for focused work, phone calls and private conversations, others prefer open space where ideas and conversations flow naturally.

Determining which type of space best suits your work style can be a process of trial and error. This is the case in Cresa’s Denver office where managing principals, Bill Baldwin and Garrett Johnson, have opted for open workstations in lieu of traditional private offices.   

Bill Baldwin was the first to make the switch during the Denver office move last March.

Bill BaldwinFrom Bill’s perspective:

“My work style doesn’t support the need for my own private office space,” said Bill Baldwin. “The majority of my work is done remotely or on-site with clients. So, when I am in the office, I prefer to be out where the action happens. For me, taking away the physical barriers helped generate more energy and collaboration.”

Garrett Johnson just recently made the switch, turning his old office into a shared business development room for any of Cresa’s brokers to use.  

From Garrett’s perspective:

“The location of my office made it feel closed off,” said Garrett Johnson. “My new space gets more natural light and I'm more open to casual conversation. The biggest challenge in the transition was changing how and where I work, no longer being able to close my door to have a confidential conversation or long conference call without disrupting the rest of the office.” 

Bill and Garrett aren’t the only ones making the switch. Executives across industries have been testing out new ways to work for years. Mark Zuckerburg, Michael Bloomberg and Zappo’s Tony Hsieh are just a few high-profile CEO’s who have famously rejected the tradition of the corner office.

While the open communication and connectivity may be ideal for some, others thrive in quiet environments for uninterrupted thought and doors for private conversations. There is no right answer.

If you’re considering a change in your workspace, it’s important to take into account how your employees work and how physical space affects both morale and productivity. As workspace continues to evolve, different trends will come and go. But for now, providing flexibility is here to stay. Strategically adding flexible workspaces, can allow employees to choose different spaces for different types of work.