Research suggests that the era of the open-plan office is coming to an end. Why? Because they actually negatively affect productivity and stress levels.
The truth is that different workers require different kinds of space for different kinds of activities. Having the option to work among others in the office as well as getting some quiet and private space when necessary is essential for a productive workforce.
Corporate quiet rooms are the way forward for modern offices – with a wide range of benefits, including increased productivity, as we will demonstrate.
Controlling the stimuli coming in
A study carried out inside a big furniture company discovered that there are two reasons why people want more privacy in the office. The first reason is that they need to control the stimuli that are coming in to their environment.
You will probably see examples of this easily if you glance around an open office. One popular trick with office workers is to put headphones in their ears, even if they are not listening to music.
Background noise can be very distracting, and when your business requires accurate and fast work, that can have a serious effect on productivity levels.
When working on demanding projects this is all the more important. 58% of high-performance employees surveyed said they want more office private spaces for problem solving. Additionally, 54% find their office environment "too distracting."
Distractions waste time, not only in the momentary lapses of concentration but also in the time that it takes to get back up to speed. This can be a big drain on productivity, losing hours of time in each working day.
If this is happening to the employees who need to concentrate the most, it’s something that needs to be solved. Having a quiet booth in the office means providing a place where high-performance employees can go to get the focus they need.
It also means reducing stress levels, which can be raised by the presence of constant noise in day to day life.
Controlling the information projected out
The second reason that workers want more privacy is to control the information that they are projecting out to others. This could be for a variety of issues – for example, if they are working on a project or discussing a problem which has a higher clearance (confidentiality) grade than that of their colleagues.
In these situations, it’s obvious that an office quiet space can be invaluable. It’s a place where calls can be taken and work can be done without others overhearing sensitive information.
Don’t forget that this content can also be projected out through to the other end of the phone line. In a noisy office, who knows what might be said by people passing by the desk of a colleague in a call. If the wrong thing is heard by the wrong person, your company will look unprofessional.
In this case, having a soundproof office phone booth allows those calls to be peaceful on both ends. Not only that, but it projects a more professional impression than a phone call with noise in the background does.
It also means that those confidential conversations can be had right away. There’s no need to meet in an outside location or wait until out of hours to make the call. Everything can be dealt with as soon as it arises, with no one any the wiser.
A privacy booth could also be used for personal reasons. Although it’s reasonable to hope that work and personal lives can remain separate, this is not always the case. Having a corporate quiet room available to take those urgent calls could be a serious help to your employees, especially those having personal problems which they do not wish to discuss.
In terms of productivity, this could mean the difference between them being able to sort out a situation immediately, or dwelling on it all day until home time and falling behind on work.
Corporate quiet rooms reduce risk of sickness
Sick days are a bane on productivity. They are unplanned and can come at the worst of times which may leave you without a backup when that person is urgently needed.
That’s why it’s shocking to think how much sickness is increased by the use of an open office plan. People in open spaces tend to take an average of 62% more sick days than those who work in private offices. This statistic perhaps won’t come as a surprise to those who have experienced for themselves how quickly a bug can seem to fly around the whole office, leaving the workforce temporarily decimated.
The reasons for the increase in sick days taken are most likely twofold: one is that the bacteria can spread more easily when everyone shares the same room, and two is that people are more likely to take time off to avoid infecting others.
It also doesn’t help that humans do have a tendency to follow the herd in some situations. Open-plan office workers may see their colleagues taking time off sick and decide it is reasonable to do so themselves, even when they are actually well enough to do the work.
Having a corporate quiet room seems to provide a solution to both of these reasons. Workers who aren’t feeling at their best, but are still well enough to get the work done, can simply use the quiet room for the day. This prevents the spread of the bacteria so quickly and also ensures that they have a way to do their jobs without risking others.
Productivity increases available
So far, we have explored three things that might negatively affect productivity.
- Noise in the office can lead to a lack of concentration and distractions, as well as rising stress levels which prevent concentration further.
- An unwillingness to share information in public spaces can lead to stress, difficulty communicating, and confidentiality issues.
- Sickness can spread easily and lead to more days off for the average office worker.
The solution to all of these things has been the office phone booth, which allows the removal of distractions, relief of stress, privacy, and less sickness.
With a flexible soundproof booth, which can be assembled easily wherever it is needed and provides room for work, your employees can take advantage of the space to increase their productivity.
With such a huge boost potentially available, it seems like a big deficit to leave on the table. Purchasing a soundproof booth, which includes power outlets and air exhaust units to keep the atmosphere comfortable inside, could just be the best investment you could possibly make for your company. In terms of ROI, the extra revenue generated by the productivity increase could be massive.
How are corporate quiet rooms constructed and what’s included?
Soundproof booths need to be made to a professional standard. It can be very costly and time-consuming to build them yourself, with no guarantee of good results, which is why it is always best to buy the booths pre-made.
The materials make a big difference, so premium choices like maple wood and plexi glass are really important. These ensure that the space is professional, soundproof, and also has thermal isolation properties so that they can be controlled to a set temperature.
Each booth comes with an electrical outlet and USB ports, as well as a port to hook up your ethernet cables. The power cord connected to the booth runs 15 feet.
Booths can be easily moved as your office layout changes, and if you switch locations entirely, disassembly and reassembly are quite easy.
Also, at Zenbooth we only use eco-friendly materials, so purchasing through us means you’ll be helping the environment and curbing waste.
To get in touch with us and learn more about our noise cancelling booths, feel free to use the form on our contact page. You can also call us at 415.323.5358. Thanks for reading.