Open floor plans could be the most popular type of office layout in the modern business environment. While having an entirely open floor plan can be useful in collaborative settings, it also has its drawbacks. Many companies have switched to open floor plans, but others have gone back to traditional office settings that allow for extra privacy and more individualized work practices.
Luckily, by investing in the right furniture, it’s possible to offer the best of both worlds. Giving your employees the option to choose whether they want to work in an open area or a more private space is a great way to ensure that all different personality types are comfortable and productive. Here are some reasons why open layouts should still have some private office space.
Fewer Visual Distractions
Some people have a hard time concentrating with a lot of activity in their line of sight. If you designate workstations with physical barriers, these employees will have an easier time focusing on the work in front of them without seeing visual distractions from across the room. If one-person rooms are limited, using partitions is a great way to achieve this effect. Putting up partitions can grant someone a sense of personal space and give the impression that one large room is split into multiple smaller ones.
Individual, Personal Work Space
Not everyone needs to collaborate with their team members regularly (or enjoys doing so). Besides that, some tasks and conversations shouldn’t be available to public scrutiny. If you’re handling sensitive information or writing a coworker’s performance review, for example, there should be somewhere in the office where you can go to get your work done away from prying eyes.
Managers and Executives May Need Privacy
Managers and executives often need to make important phone calls and can at times have so much work that they don’t want to be distracted by any outside noise. Executives are also more likely to have to deal with sensitive data, especially if it pertains to the company’s finances or an employee’s personal information or conduct. Although there is value in keeping managers on the main floor with the rest of the team, it may be worth it for you to designate private areas for them—perhaps with custom manager desks or executive desks to help them do their best work.
Distinct Collaborative and Individualized Work Spaces
In order to make privacy for employees viable, you can look into dividing your open floor plan into clearly distinct sections. This doesn’t necessarily require physical barriers if you design separate smaller office layouts within your open space effectively. One way to do this is to divide your office into distinct environments. For example, one side of the office can have open, collaborative work tables and the other side can have individualized cubicles. On the collaborative side, you can include some couches and snack tables which will inspire a more relaxed, community-oriented work environment. By having two options available to employees, they can choose for themselves which type of work environment they want to work in.
Similar to the idea of dividing an open floor plan into collaborative and private sides, you can designate small, one-person rooms as private working space for anyone who needs to get away from the main floor awhile. These smaller rooms can be equipped with single desks and built-in technology like desktop computers or telephones so that employees can get all their work done in complete privacy if they need to.
While open office layouts are great for inspiring collaboration and a sense of community, having the option for privacy can be really important to employees who need to focus or work on something confidentially. Don’t know how to start making an open office space more private? Modern Office can help you out. Take a look at our selection today and figure out creative ways to add more private spaces to your open office plan.