An open office layout encourages flexibility and tends to be more affordable.
However, the downsides to having an open layout can have a profound effect on your team's efficiency and mood. The distractions, noise, and lack of privacy, in particular, can easily take away from the overall performance of the office.
These findings have been supported by reliable statistics time and time again. A public opinion survey conducted by YouGov found privacy to be a higher priority among employees than many assumed.
Their survey revealed that, if it meant having access to a private work area, 13% of respondents would give up their end-of-year bonuses, 17% would give up access to a window, and probably the most condemning statistic of all, 27% would give up access to the office coffee machine.
Thankfully, you don't have to choose between the benefits of an open office layout or the need for a comfortable work environment.
Here are 5 furniture ideas for the open space office that you can easily incorporate to increase productivity and morale.
1. Office Pod/Booth (Comfort Booth)
Incorporating an office furniture pod or booth into an open office is perhaps the best way of introducing privacy into a workspace that needs it.
This innovative piece of furniture allows workers to conduct conversations without being interrupted, to make private phone calls and to finish an urgent assignment without distractions. Also, individual work pods can be easily incorporated into any space without the stress or financial limitations of construction work.
These booths don't just offer privacy. The best on the market are designed to prioritize comfort, health, and focus. This includes features like a high-quality ventilation system, soundproofed walls, a sleek aesthetic, and gentle lighting through a plexiglass ceiling. These details result in a higher level of productivity and satisfaction among employees.
When it comes to getting work done efficiently, nothing beats an office pod environment. A frequently encountered issue among those working in open office layouts is a lack of electrical outlets.
This can become a major problem for workers who are unable to charge their devices with a deadline quickly approaching. Office booths can accommodate multiple electrical outlets, allowing employees to easily step away from their typical work station to get an urgent assignment finished.
A pod is the best way of helping workers focus as it limits distractions, introducing much-needed privacy without taking away from the flexibility and collaborative open office setting.
Studies have shown how much distractions affect employee mood and productivity, with one indicating 58% of high-performance employees stating that they require a more quiet work environment.
This same study also found that 25 to 30% of employees that work in open office layouts were unhappy with the level of noise in their workplace. These needs can be easily accommodated for with helpful furniture upgrades.
Something as simple as an adjustable desk can offer radical change in a work environment. Prolonged sitting has been shown to lead to increased rates of heart conditions, joint pain, and type 2 diabetes, doubtlessly contributing to the obesity epidemic.
Given that many workers are required to sit for eight to ten-hour shifts every day, adjustable desks can have a healthy difference in both the productivity and wellbeing of workers.
Adjustable desks allow workers to go from sitting to standing easily, without breaking their focus or causing any disruptions. A workspace and its furniture should be capable of adapting to the needs of the workers using it, while also making them healthier.
Incorporating adjustable desks in an open office space will energize workers and promote their overall wellbeing, which inevitably results in better results for the office at large. Notably, the aforementioned survey found that those working in open office layouts take up to 62% more sick days than those who don't.
Acknowledging the importance of keeping workers healthy is a valuable decision for every employer and business owner
3. Executive Rooms
Similar to office pods, executive rooms allow for a private space within an open office layout. Executive rooms are a functional 31-inch wide workspace that allows for team discussions, conferences, interviews, and other meetings to be conducted without distractions.
The comfortable environment is enabled by their high-quality 3.5-inch thick walls, their impressive ventilation system, their low door threshold, and plexiglass ceilings.
The 3.5-inch walls of recycled cotton and perforated aluminum panels absorb echos and ensure that those passing by are unable to overhear anything said in the room.
This makes these portable conference rooms ideal for important phone calls, performance reviews, and other potentially sensitive conversations.
A great aspect of these models is that, due to it being designed as a booth, it can be conveniently incorporated into most office layouts.
Building an entirely new room in a workspace can be an expensive, slow, and disruptive process, especially given that many workspaces in multi-floor buildings simply won't be given permission to undergo construction.
Thankfully, an executive booth is 900lbs and requires very little time to install in your office space.
4. Frosted Glass
Frosted glass is a versatile product, and a workplace can benefit from it in a wide variety of ways. The glass can be customized to feature multiple designs, including a company logo, simple patterns, colorful displays, or just an overall glaze to render the glass translucent.
Approximately 70% of offices have no partitions or very few partitions as they are believed to discourage collaboration and can feel claustrophobic. Translucent, frosted glass makes for a far better barrier between work stations than walls or typical partitions. It provides a degree of privacy while still allowing for a natural flow of light and preventing feelings of claustrophobia.
Given that only 10% of workers from that same survey above deem the ease of interaction with other coworkers to be a problem, installing frosted glass partitions can help workers focus on their work without losing the benefits of an open workspace.
It can take as long as 23 minutes to regain focus after being interrupted, and something as simple as a frosted glass partition can prevent such disruptions from occurring.
5. Bring the Outdoors Indoors
Incorporating the outdoors, or at least the feeling of the outdoors, into your workspace can be very valuable to worker mood and productivity.
The average American worker spends an incredibly long time indoors, which deprives them of the health benefits that come with being outside, such as stress management and overall happiness.
There are many ways to incorporate the outdoors into the furniture and overall design of your open workspace. The simplest methods include having more windows, a better ventilation system for fresh air, and by adding plants and flowers throughout the office.
Another method would be by taking advantage of all the sustainable material-based furniture designs that are becoming available, such as reclaimed wood shelving.
For a more in-depth change, business owners should consider adding gardens, fountains, and/or outdoor break areas for employees to enjoy. The ability to step outside and get some fresh air, or even just to feel the joys of being outside, has proven to be beneficial to an employee's wellbeing and productivity rate.
Why These Open Space Office Furniture Ideas Matter
When building and developing an office, it's important to prioritize features that will heighten the morale and productivity of your staff. Simple changes can go a long way, but adding something like an office pod or an executive booth, in particular, can change the way a workspace operates for the better.
All these changes can be made in a cost-effective way when you find the right products and the right people to install them. These simple investments can yield results that are lucrative, alongside improving the quality of life of everyone who works in the office.
With the massive amount of startups breaking onto the scene, the open office layout has never been more popular than it is right now.
While there are several documented benefits to this layout, employers should ensure that they're taking steps to counteract the downsides of these spaces.