The term “modern workspace” means a lot of different things these days.

For some, it means a home office, while for others, it means a traditional workspace with an open floor plan. Then there’s co-working spaces to consider, as well as the folks with individual offices in a company-owned space.

But the question is: Which one is right for you?

The only way to answer that question is to look at the positives and negatives of these various options and to decide what option best fits your unique needs.

Open Floor Plan Office

Companies like Shutterstock have opted for an office space with an open floor plan—and while not every operation can afford to rent two floors in the Empire State Building, they can typically find a reasonably priced space to customize into their own open floor plan. This option is a popular one, as a Facility Management Association study showed that 70% of offices use the open floor plan layout.


Some of the benefits and drawbacks to an open floor plan include:



Depending on the culture of your organization, an open floor plan can be the best or worst idea. It’s important to consider what type of work your team members are doing and how the working environment will impact their jobs—both positively and negatively.

For example: The open floor plan works for Shutterstock because they wanted to create a working environment that would foster communication and minimize feelings of isolation for employees.

Anastasia Pashalis of Shoplet said, “[pullquote]Open office spaces are ideal for an effective and productive workday.[/pullquote] They encourage collaboration not only within a department, but interdepartmental cooperation within the company.” - Anastasia Pashalis

Individual Workspaces

Other companies favor individual workspaces that give each employee their own personal domain to work from within a larger, company-owned space. Sometimes this comes in the form of cubicles, while other times it means an individual office with a door.


There are both positives and negatives to this setup, including:



For example: One study found that an individual workspace can be highly valuable—with a whopping 77% of professionals surveyed saying they preferred a quiet working environment when working on a focused task.

Jordan Shapiro of San Diego Office & Modular Design commented on individual workspaces, saying: “[pullquote]Innovative thoughts thrive in spaces where people are comfortable and capable of being themselves.[/pullquote] In a quiet, and private location, people are often more capable of accessing the kind of out-of-the-box thinking that truly changes the world.” - Jordan Shapiro

Home Office

Others prefer the freedom and flexibility that a home office can afford. Both solopreneurs and companies with remote workers use home offices as their spaces to get things done.


So what are the pluses and minuses that come along with a home office?



For example: Rueben Gamez of Bidsketch noted that working from a home office has some great benefits—but also some serious disadvantages that have to be carefully balanced.

Jason Fried, Founder of Basecamp, is a huge advocate of the remote work culture. He presented a TED Talk in 2010 called “Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work” and said, “[pullquote]Especially with creative people…people really need long stretches of uninterrupted time to get something done.[/pullquote].. And even though the workday is typically eight hours, how many people here have ever had eight hours to themselves at the office?' - Jason Fried

Co-working Spaces

Another option lies in co-working spaces. Co-working spaces allow teams and individuals to rent spaces for a few days or on a more long-term basis as a way to work alongside fresh faces and in new, interesting spaces.


A few benefits and drawbacks to co-working spaces are:



For example: If you’re a small team or even an individual looking to switch up your scenery for a little while, a co-working space is a great, often low-cost option that allows you to break up your normal routine.

Cait Flanders, a writer and budgeting advisor said of her co-working experience: “[pullquote]It was awesome. Quiet but collaborative.[/pullquote] If there were one closer/cheaper to my new place, I'd probably get a desk again.” - Cait Flanders

Which Modern Workspace is Right for You?

Looking at the various options (these are just a few, you know) and weighing the benefits and drawbacks alongside the type of work you do will help you determine which type of modern workspace is best for your business.

If working with a team, start a conversation about what setup they feel is best for their projects and needs. Or, if you’re on your own, try out a few different options and see what feels right.

What are your thoughts? Which option have you found to be most successful?