The trend is shifting back to employees wanting their own workspace. This is a shift away from more open work areas with shared desks, community areas, and collaborative workspaces. Research has shown workers now want their own personal workspace to allow for personal boundaries.
In my career I have worked in many types of office workspaces from a cubicle with high walls and some semblance of privacy, to an open workspace area where everyone could hear you when you were on the phone, and see the clutter on your desk. My favorite has always been a private office with walls and a door.
For many businesses, workspace layout is a budgetary concern. It definitely costs more to have individual offices versus shared offices or cubicles. However, employee efficiency may be a factor impacted by the workspace provided. While an extrovert might have no problem working in an open space where others are constantly around, an introvert might be very uncomfortable in the same environment and not work up to their full potential. Writer Diane Stafford suggests people who are job hunting should inquire about office layout and desk assignment practices, when making job decisions on where they want to work.
I understand an open workspace concept was originally thought to foster creativity and the free flow of information. However, those are not the only factors for employers to consider in workspace design. It is important to also consider the type of work being performed, the personality types of employees, and how to get the best work performance from employees.