There has been increasing concern over the past couple of years that our beloved open plan offices are, in actual fact, more of a hindrance to work productivity than a help. Do we agree with this? To an extent, though we are dead set against locking employees back up in those awful, cramped, soul sucking office cubicles.
There are many things in an office that can distract you. The glug of the water cooler, the rhythmic tap of multiple keyboards, your own finger nails… To be completely honest, no matter whether you’re in an open office or a confined space, if your employees aren’t dedicated to the task at hand, they’ll always find ways to distract themselves.
According to FMWorld, Veerle De Clerck, a research specialist at the furniture manufacturer Steelcase, claims that open offices hinder a workplace’s productivity as employees can become distracted by chatty work colleagues.
The entire reason an open office exists, however, is to allow your employees to communicate easily with one another. Excessive chatter in such situation is a cause for concern for a workplace’s productivity, however this should be addressed by management instead of employers throwing up 5ft walls between their employees.
With this in mind, shouldn’t we be focusing less on how an open office is the modern day version of the apocalypse, and more on how we can help our employees (who need a break and a chat every now and then!) focus on their work?
There are a couple of simple office designs you can install in your office to help minimise surrounding distraction.
Small desk partitions can greatly help minimise distractions in your employee’s peripheral vision. Instead of catching a glimpse of a work colleague writing in a notepad, taking a drink or playing with their fingers, the immediate focus point is on your employees own desk whilst still allowing them to see over the top of the partitions.
What may work for one division of your company may not work for another. A creative department, for instance, will need more open space and range to talk to one another if they are to keep the inspiration and attention they need. A technical division, however, will need greater concentration for coding and therefore need greater focus on what’s before them.
Setting aside rooms specific for your different company divisions is a great way to accommodate each of their individual working requirements.
Another more personal way that employees can focus themselves in an open office is through the use of headphones. The universal devices allow an employee to sink into their own working environment without disturbance from the people around them. Permitting headphones could be the step forward your company needs without committing to a mass office refurbishment.
As experts in creating an efficient, effective office refurbishment for your company’s individual needs, we understand better than anybody how the layout of an office can help represent your company whilst keeping up your company’s productivity. If you’d like to know how we can help you, contact us today on 01553 811 833 or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn for updates on the world of office designs.