An open concept office encourages the exchange of ideas and interactions between team members. This type of open design also allows for more employees in a single space to save money and provides easy access to members of the same team. While it takes some time for everyone to get used to this type of layout, there are a few tips and tricks to ensure it happens quickly.
Creating alone time in an open office
Privacy can be a priority for everyone. Instead of engaging with others during downtime, take breaks by yourself. Find a quiet corner to enjoy some alone time, or tilt back in an ergonomic chair and relax for a few minutes. Grab a cup of coffee and head out in the courtyard with a good book or go for a walk in a local park. Try to grab some privacy as much as possible, even if it means observing the activity from one of the waiting room chairs. Headphones also signal to others than an you’re occupied. Wear them when some private time is needed.
Decorating in an open space office design
Consider acoustics when decorating open office cubicles. Hang canvas prints to absorb some of the noise. Also, if the office has solid-surface floors, place a small plush rug to reduce echo. Both ideas show off an employee’s personality while reducing background noise.
Studies have shown that bringing the outside in can increase happiness. Consider placing some large potted plants in the workspace to bring the outdoors in. Plants are also air purifiers to help create a healthy environment.
Creating a sense of privacy in an open layout
Look through a furniture set collection and choose locking cabinets and drawers to protect personal belongings. This provides peace of mind, especially when dealing with confidential client information entrusted to your care. It’s also natural for people to glance around the room to see what others are doing. Install confidentiality filters on desktop screens to protect against prying eyes. If company desk shells don’t have the option of locking cabinets, ask your company to opt for breakroom lockers to hold purses and backpacks.
If possible, turn your chair away from the action in order to focus on the task at hand. Swivel chairs provide an easy way to engage with others but make it possible to get back to work without getting up and down.
Choosing work hours in an open office area
Make note of when the office is quietest and try to get most of your work done during those hours. If possible, work from home a few days a week to get a break from the flurry of activity. Take advantage of meeting rooms and book time alone. Closed doors almost always indicate privacy, so it’s possible to work without chatting or distractions. Some companies also provide quiet rooms for those who need to concentrate on a specific task, so be sure to utilize these spaces when a project calls for non-collaborative work.
A workspace without walls changes the dynamics of the organization. One of the benefits of open plan offices is that it’s possible to stay happy even in the midst of a large work area by adopting a few rules in the workforce and by creating a personalized space.