The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Assigned Workstations VS Unassigned Workstations

2020 has been a year that has raised many questions about the value of the workplace office. Teleworking has become the norm for many, which opens the reflection on the best way to adapt your workspaces in the face of this trend that will be around for a few more months, and perhaps even longer.

The office is in the middle of a major transformation and it is therefore the right time to take the opportunity to analyze the occupation of our workspaces and our real needs in terms of office design.


The importance of good reflection

It is essential to ask yourself the right questions when it comes time to redesign your office, with a 360 vision and, above all, a view of the future. The office must remain versatile and multifunctional to adapt over the years, but here are the important points to consider:

  • The office must enhance employees’ sense of belonging to their work environment. It must be both safe and warm, while meeting the employee’s needs.
  • Spaces must be optimized according to their actual use: how much of the office area is used? Indeed, in Montreal, the average rent per square foot is above $30, so we can only conclude that space remains a crucial issue for businesses.
  • The budget must be allocated according to needs. For example, it may be necessary to consider the development of more collaborative spaces or, on the contrary, spaces that promote concentration.


Assigned and unassigned workstations: making the right choice for your organization

There are no right or wrong answers, but here are the important points to remember, depending on the type of workstation:

Assigned workstations, what you need to know.

This is the formula that has always been used for its advantages:

  • A certain comfort: every morning we settle down at our desk, our chair is perfectly adjusted, the screen is at the right height.
  • At work as well as at home: a dedicated workstation allows you to humanize your office by personalizing it, with the help of a few photos or a beautiful plant.
  • Work tools at your disposal and within easy reach at all times.
  • A notion of confidentiality with the possibility of leaving important documents under lock, especially when the position involves holding sensitive and privileged information.
  • A community spirit, an inherent team cohesion, because by default, people forge close ties with the people working close to them and with whom they work every day.



Opt for unassigned workstations

First of all, it is important to analyze the following points in depth:

  • Is it applicable to your type of business?
    The functions occupied by your employees must allow for job sharing. People who are often on the road or in meetings will be better able to share a workspace, since they are very mobile themselves.
  • Does the technology in place allow the sharing of workstations?
    Do employees have laptops and cell phones? Are the electrical connections easily accessible so they can be connected quickly without physical effort?
  • Are your employees open to change?
    The best way to make such a transition is to involve them in the process and show them that their opinion is important to you.


Here are a few solutions for well thought-out workstations

Choosing the right storage space

  • Invest in a locker room where each employee will have a place to store their personal belongings.
  • Favour open storage that discourages appropriation since it does not close.
  • Opt for mobile storage units that allow you to move your equipment quickly and easily.

Integrate technology

  • Providing electrical outlets above the desktop surface is essential so that you don’t have to bend over to quickly plug in your computer. In fact, simple solutions exist, such as modules placed directly on the surface. Some monitor arms also allow the connection of USB cables (very practical for quickly recharging a busy cell phone and replacing a landline), in addition to reducing clutter and making it easier to clean the workstation.

Create “zones” to easily find each other between colleagues.

  • By project, or by department, it’s easier to know where to find the people you need to collaborate with or simply talk to.



In conclusion, a successful worplace design is the addition of several factors. Therefore, an analysis must be made to determine what tools are necessary for the employee to perform well. Involving them in the decision-making process allows you to show them that their opinions are important to you, in addition to allowing you to perhaps obtain solutions that you would not have considered.

Finally, we recommend that you involve work space planning professionals such as architects or designers. It is extremely important to be well surrounded during a reorganization in order to make informed decisions based on your business needs.

At Groupe Focus, we have internal resources that will be able to support you in this process. Contact one of our consultants today!


Didn’t have the chance to attend our “Assigned VS Unassigned Workstations” webinar?

It’s not too late! The presentation is available for viewing by clicking directly on the image below.