Pros and Cons of Communal Desks for an Office

As the debate over open office spaces rages on, one key topic always seems to come up – communal desks. Should offices ditch individual workspaces in favour of long communal tables? Or should we stick with our own personal cubicles and offices? Is one better than the other?

Well, dear readers, let’s dive into the pros and cons of communal desks for an office and find out.

Pros of Communal Desks

  1. Collaboration: The biggest argument for communal desks is that they promote collaboration among colleagues. When everyone is sitting together, it’s much easier to bounce ideas off each other, ask for opinions and work closely on group projects. If your business relies on the interaction of your employees, it’s well worth considering a desk of this type.
  2. Space-Saving: Communal desks can be a great space-saving option for smaller offices. Instead of taking up valuable floor space with multiple individual workspaces, one large table can accommodate many employees. This also means you can rearrange the layout of your office more easily without having to move around a bunch of desks.
  3. Cost-Efficient: It’s simple math really – one desk is cheaper than several desks. If you’re looking to cut costs, communal desks could be a good solution. In case this isn’t convincing enough, with hot-desking becoming increasingly popular, many employees don’t even have assigned workspaces, making communal desks an ideal option.
  4. No More Hierarchies: Say goodbye to the days of corner offices and high-walled cubicles for managers. With communal desks, everyone is on an equal playing field. No one gets the prime spot by the window or the bigger desk, which can help foster a more inclusive and fair work environment.
  5. Social Interaction: Let’s face it, work can be pretty lonely sometimes. Having communal desks means employees are more likely to interact with each other throughout the day, leading to stronger team relationships and a better overall office culture.

Cons of Communal Desks

  1. Distractions: While collaboration is great, too much of it can also be a bad thing. With everyone working in close proximity, noise levels are bound to go up and constant interruptions from coworkers can make it difficult to focus. Often, you’ll need to give this idea some time to work its magic – once people are accustomed to working together, the novelty will soon wear off.
  2. Lack of Privacy: For some tasks, privacy is essential. Whether it’s a confidential phone call, sensitive work materials or just needing some peace and quiet to concentrate, communal desks don’t provide that level of privacy. Employees may feel uncomfortable discussing personal or private matters in such an open setting. Therefore, it’s wise to also have spaces available for this type of activity.
  3. Clashes in Personalities: In any office environment, there are bound to be clashes in personalities. With communal desks, these differences are heightened as employees are constantly in close proximity to each other. If someone is particularly loud or messy, it can quickly lead to tension within the team.


Whatever way you decide to go, stick to high-quality furniture – companies such as Hurdley’s Office Furniture offer an excellent range of options to suit your workspace needs. Ultimately, the decision to have communal desks in your office will depend on various factors such as the nature of your business and team dynamics. But one thing is for sure – it definitely adds a bit of spice and variety to the standard office setup!

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