If you work in or manage an open office, you may have already discovered the many pitfalls of these environments.
Open offices aren’t as beneficial as intended but there are phone booth furniture solutions available for companies not looking to move or reconstruct their entire floor.
Keep the Open Office Benefits, Lose the Downsides
Open offices were originally created to make it easier for employees to work as a team and to collaborate on projects. However, many businesses don’t require this level of openness but use open office layouts nonetheless.
While 70 percent of offices in the US have zero or low partitions, only 10 percent of workers believe “ease of interaction” is a problem for them.
Instead, open offices cause more problems than they solve. The downfalls of open office designs include:
- Noise created by coworkers, equipment, music, and ambient elements
- Visual distractions, like people constantly walking by
- Lack of privacy
- Decreased professional image to clients and visitors
- Increased feelings of employees being hovered over or supervised all the time
For many companies, these open office problems translate to big concerns. Lost concentration by employees who are constantly distracted by noise and coworkers isn’t just a nuisance. It can take more than 20 minutes for workers to regain their focus, which adds up to hours of lost work time. This, in turn, becomes lost revenue for their employers.
Furthermore, distractions in the workplace contribute to:
- Increased levels of stress
- More sick days due to stress, weakened immune systems and dissatisfaction with the work environment
- Poor employee recruiting and retention
- Arguments between employees over noise and lack of privacy
- Claims of harassment from employees who feel overly scrutinized
If you would like to change your open office environment, there are furniture solutions available, ranging from minimum alterations to office phone booths (see below).
You may find that these phone booths are reasonably priced when you compare the cost to lost revenue due to noise and distractions and to the expense of new construction or moving the office.
One problem that many open offices have is trying to create an environment straight out of a Silicon Valley gaming company in an attempt to seem current and inviting.
However, this type of situation often makes it difficult for people to work, with poor ergonomics, like sofas, and reduced work surfaces. Therefore, the first step you should take in remedying your open office workspace is to ensure that everyone has sufficient desk or table space and that there is ergonomically correct seating available for every employee.
The next step is to address visual and auditory noise and privacy problems. If your budget is truly tight, there are some simple furniture solutions available to you until you can use more serious ones, like an office phone booth:
- Add fabric, like window treatments, rugs, seating, and artwork, to dampen sound.
- Use adjustable partitions between workers’ desks to create privacy and minimize visual disturbances.
- Utilize portable room dividers to section off workspaces.
- Move bookshelves, blackboards, and filing cabinets to wall off areas.
- Create separate quiet and talking zones based on work tasks and employee work styles.
Details About Zenbooth's Office Phone Booths
These solutions don’t provide the same amount of noise screening as an office phone booth, which offers a quiet, private environment for workers.
Zenbooth makes high-quality, attractive office phone booths in a variety of sizes to provide a more permanent and effective solution to open office layouts and their disadvantages.
These booths are designed for one, two, or up to four individuals, and the two smaller booths come with a built-in desk, which can be made height-adjustable for sitting or standing.
Perfect for meetings with managers, quiet phone calls, and team projects, Zenbooth ships directly to your office, where you or a team of handymen can assemble it in a few hours. All you need to do is make sure there is enough floor space for the booth, plus room to swing the door open, as well as a nearby 110V three-prong outlet.
This outlet connects to the Zenbooth electrical system for interior lighting and ventilation, in addition to charging ports for electronic devices and telephone lines.
Other Zenbooth features include:
- Bright, spacious interior with windows on the ceiling
- Designed with fire and HR compliance a priority
- Movable if the office changes location
You can use Zenbooth in a number of different ways. Perhaps just one is needed for meetings and client consultations. Or maybe a row of one-person booths would afford multiple workers daily respite from distractions and loss of focus.
Some businesses use a sign-out system, like many companies do for conference rooms, letting employees schedule use of a Zenbooth when they have important phone calls to make or when they need to work on high-concentration tasks.
If you have an open office environment, check out Zenbooth today. It might be the best furniture solution for your business so employees can stay on task and you can stop worrying about lost time and revenue.