Company Successes Realized Through Appropriate Use of Open or Closed Office Environments According to Commercial Architects at OTJ

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Corporate America may generally be shifting toward more open office spaces, but there are still companies that require more concentration and quiet space for employees to be productive. Making the difficult decision on office style is a design objective that OTJ Architects’ staff of architects and interior designers believes should be addressed with clients from day one.

Searle Freedom Trust

Organizations that invest in creating work environments that accommodate all types of employees and working styles are seeing successful results in recruiting the best and the brightest minds, while also retaining existing employees.

In today’s corporate world, the interior architectural design professionals at OTJ Architects continue to see the workplace culture shift from cubicles and individual workstations to open office spaces with environments to promote collaboration, concentration and community. However, choosing if an open office is right for a particular company can be a tricky decision – one that depends most on how staff functions best supporting the organization’s overall mission.

“Organizations that invest in creating work environments that accommodate all types of employees and working styles are seeing successful results in recruiting the best and the brightest minds, while also retaining existing employees,” said Lance Jaccard, Partner at OTJ Architects.

An open office environment allows employees to brainstorm and collaborate – which helps increase morale and greatly improve productivity. The following additional benefits are provided with an open office design:

  •     Organizations can fit more staff and grow more easily
  •     Operational costs are reduced through energy saving measures and monitoring operational efficiency
  •     Employee productivity increases by providing fresh air, ventilation and natural lighting
  •     Real estate costs are decreased when 30-50 percent of an employee’s time is spent in places other than the office, thus reducing the overall square footage per person by eliminating unused space
  •     Enables more natural light to filter through the space – particularly important for organizations striving to meet LEED standards

Not all organizations require a high level of collaboration. A law firm, for instance, may require a more quiet, head-down type of work atmosphere and private offices. Companies today will see greater enjoyment in their workplace design when they are able to determine which way their employees work – and interact – best. OTJ is able to provide guidance, industry best practices, benchmarking data and varying options so that clients can make an informed decision that will affect their organizations for years to come.

OTJ designs utilizing various levels of open and closed spaces include the office for Searle Freedom Trust that utilized both private and collaborative workspaces, a closed office environment for The Weinberg Group with glass throughout the space to provide ample natural light to enter the floor plate, and multiple meeting spaces of varying sizes, openness and seating types to allow for greater employee collaboration at the National Parks Conservation Association.

“We work with our clients to determine what the best fit is for their organization,” said Tony Martin, Partner at OTJ Architects. “We have had great success with both office styles, including many workplaces with a healthy balance of collaboration and privacy that help our clients better achieve their organizational goals and objectives.”

Contact OTJ Architects to discuss your architectural needs today.

About OTJ Architects
OTJ Architects is a well-respected national interior architecture design firm that has successfully completed thousands of projects throughout the country. Founded in 1990, OTJ is comprised of five studios headquartered in Washington, DC, with more than 60 architects and designers, many of whom are LEED Accredited Professionals. OTJ is registered in 37 states and is able to consult in all 50 states. The responsive interior architecture consultants create effective environments through listening, understanding and tailored design. These designs focus on helping clients enhance collaboration, company branding and employee recruitment and retention. OTJ’s design teams provide clients with personalized attention to create workplace solutions that reflect their unique, individual needs. For more information, visit

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Liz Marshall
OTJ Architects
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since: 05/2012
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