The open plan office is a popular choice for achieving a modern looking workplace. It allows for maximum design creativity and personal approachability while remaining affordable.
It's especially popular for startup businesses and any business that requires heavy collaboration among its team members.
But it comes with a price: no privacy and very little quiet. It's still possible to make the most out of an open plan office design and its benefits without breaking the bank. Here are 3 tips to do exactly that.
Open Plan Office Design Tip #1. Make it personal and efficient
Your open plan office should reflect your company's values. Motivational walls boost morale, while personalized workspaces create a sense of belonging.
25-30% of open office employees are dissatisfied with the level of workplace noise. Some positions naturally require prolonged, high levels of concentration. Are any of your employees sitting in inconvenient areas? It doesn't hurt to ask employees what they think about where they're sitting, either.
Several open plan offices have a casual look with homely furniture. If yours is modern, you can make the break area as cozy as possible. Try giving a relaxing retreat for your employees in the form of a portable, open office conference room or meeting pod.
Open Plan Office Design Tip #2. Put in sound barriers
70% of offices nowadays have zero or low partitions. In an open plan office, even low-intensity noise sounds louder than it should. It makes many employees feel self-conscious about their conversations.
Privacy can be divided into visual and auditory privacy. Partitions can help with both, though not everyone enjoys the look of partitions.
Fortunately, there are several decorative fixes for putting in sound barriers that are as practical as they are stylish. One top benefit of the open plan office is its design flexibility. If creative design or artistic flair is your forte, you can utilize sound barriers to your advantage.
Some "sound traps" can be hung above desks and tables. An easy sound trap is a suspended wooden pallet or louver door. Others involve soundproofing wall pieces, acoustical ceiling tiles or drop ceilings.
A rug on a hard floor also works well, as does hanging up fabric; the thicker, the better. Carpet eliminates echoes.
Plants are important. Not only do they help filter the air but they even reduce noise by absorbing, deflecting and refracting sound waves. You'll want to have several small arrangements and place them along the walls to reduce noise. But if you're looking for an alternative to partitions, screen plants are an attractive option.
Open Plan Office Design Tip #3. Add Office Phone Booths
Workers in 2013 spent 54% of their time on tasks requiring individual focus. Think about how much time you would save if your employees had fewer interruptions and distractions.
How much would their productivity increase if they could have more private, smaller team collaboration areas? That's how Zenbooth can help.
Choose a portable, durable, phone booth-style office pod. These essentially function as open plan office workstations and allow your staff to focus on intense tasks and complete their work uninterrupted.
Young and extroverted employees will really enjoy the open plan office. But high-performance, creative and senior workers alike will appreciate it if you leave some space for them, too.
Consult with your employees and allow their input to guide you in your design. You'd also be smart to establish a guide to open office etiquette.
A Zenbooth portable office pod is the solution to noise in your office, plus privacy. With different capacities from one to six people, natural lighting, and a ventilation sensor, it can suit any open office design.