Over the last few decades, workplace design has lead to an increasingly open concept favoring open plans rather than closed off private offices. Traditional cubicle panel heights have decreased in an effort to increase worker collaboration by giving easy access to coworkers. This thought process has been spot-on as our knowledge-based economy continues to grow.
However in the last few years, research has indicated that if workplaces are not providing ample privacy space, the open concept can actually be a distraction to worker engagement. Because email, information sharing, and worker interaction is happening instantatenously, worker distraction happens as much as every 11 minutes. Research also suggests it can take up to 23 minutes to deeply engage back into the work being performed before the distraction. Distractions are everwhere in your office and your space should help minimize those distractions while still encouraging collaboration and group thinking.
According to Donna Flynn at Steelcase, “A key takeaway … is that the open plan isnt to blame any more than reverting to all private offices can be a solution. There is no single type of optimal work setting. Instead, its about balance. Achieving the right balance between working in privacy and working together is critical for any organization that wants to achieve innovation and advance.” No longer should privacy be only for the top executives. Oranizations understand to have a fully engaged work force they need to emet the needs of all workers. You can achieve this balance by creating an ecosystem of interrelated working zones that each meet a different need for workers. It is time to rethink how we look at privacy and simple solutions such as sound masking can provide similiar sound privacy that typically was reserved for a private office.
We have identified a few different real estate zones that can help reduce your privacy crisis: private enclaves, 1:1 project space, conference enclaves, personal retreats, sheilded conversation lounges, connect hub, and privacy zones. Each one of these zones fits a different need of the worker from their personal needs to their collaboration meeting spaces whether with employees in close proximity or across the globe. Our product solutions such as VIA, Privacy Wall, IRYS, Roomwizard, QtPro and Sonet Qt, can be plugged and played into our systems furniture to design a unique and custom layout that fits your organizational goals. Our trained designers are experts in helping organizations evaluate real estate and maximize the potential to meet every workers needs across the diverse set of ecosystems that need to exist in an efficient workplace today.