The trend of office design in recent years has shifted to reflect an open concept. Cubicles, separate offices, and dark conference rooms have become sparse while communal tables, hot-desking and common spaces have emerged. Companies have embraced open office layouts in an attempt to surge the collaboration and creativity of the workforce. While open office layouts have their benefits, they can often lead to workers frustrated with their lack of privacy, increased noise, and distractions.

The goal of the office space should be to allow for the utmost productivity of employees. Impact Signs researched some practical ways to balance out the openness of modern workplace design with a bit more privacy for workers.

While cubicles often seem restricting, sometimes employees need a barrier from their colleagues. With portable space partitions, they can offer some privacy while still being able to be moved when the need for a collaboration space occurs.

Flexible furniture adds an element of adaptability to the office. Flexible furniture options can include standing desks, modular couches or rolling shelving units. Employees can adapt their office to best suit their needs to get their work done effectively.

Open office spaces can sometimes translate into rows of tables where CEOs, sales staff, marketers, and human resource team members can all be situated next to each other. With different demands for different roles, sometimes this set-up can become cluttered, unorganized, even counter-productive. Clustering teams into their own separate tables creates a productive space where teams can collaborate easily.

Noise is perhaps the largest distraction for employees when they’re working in an open space layout. By providing them with phone-booths or quiet rooms where they can make calls, this allows them to stay focused during their most important ones.

In the general office areas, consider sound dampeners to tone down the excess noise and employee distractions.

Although many companies have moved away from cubicles, there’s still an opportunity for offices to offer employees a more private space. Adding desk dividers can give employees the illusion of their own space but also allow them to easily access other colleagues for a quick chat or brainstorm.

An open office layout can also provide employees with areas where they can get away from their work and hit the reset button to come back and be more productive throughout the day. Getaway spaces such as gyms, lounges, and game rooms can promote employee happiness by allowing them a great space to take a break.

With these suggestions on how to improve an open office layout, the workforce is given the best of both worlds. The open space still maintains a collaborative spirit while still allowing for employee privacy and quiet areas to promote effective work processes.

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