An open office concept is preferred in many workplaces, as it aids collaboration among employees’ projects and, according to contemporary design thinking, does not limit creativity. This is something that the outdated ‘cubicle farm’ office design was often accused of. However, open office concepts are also guilty of getting in the way of workplace productivity with employees finding themselves easily distracted in such a setting.
While some of your employees may be able to easily focus and work in an open office setting, it could be hampering the work styles of others. Here is how you can promote better privacy in your open office concept
- Arrange workstations so there are buffer zones in between. You do not want workstations to be crammed. While it may save space, it does not offer employees a sense of personal space.
- Make sure you do not have employee workstations arranged back-to-back so that every time an employee takes their eyes off the system they are staring right into another person’s face. You want to alternate the workstations on either side to make an open office concept work.
Use natural boundaries
- While open office spaces do not have clear-cut demarcations between workstations, as in the case of cubicles, you want to use natural means to create a sense of personal space.
- Plants can be used to divide the spaces between employee workstations, to create superficial boundaries.
Music can mute background noise
- Allow employees to plug in their earphones and listen to music so they can distance themselves from distractions and interruptions.
- Employees are often observed to be relatively more productive when they work and listen to music at the same time.
Move to Low Traffic Areas of the office
- Talk to your employees and ask them if they feel as if their privacy and productivity is compromised in an open-office setting. If that is the case, you can move them to a corner in the room or an empty row, so they can work in peace.
- Allow employees to work in a private meeting room or lounge when they want their privacy. If employees have to take client calls or want to work in privacy, then they can book the room in advance, to make sure it is not in use.
By giving employees adequate personal space with natural boundaries and quiet spaces to escape, you’ll create an open office concept that’s productive, inclusive, and relaxing all at the same time. Learn more by discovering The Power of Place