Open concept offices have been around since the early years of the 20th century. Due to their inherent spaciousness and flexibility, open offices are intended to encourage spontaneous collaboration, innovation and creativity.
This seemingly intuitive concept has resulted in the mass adoption of the open floor plan — with catastrophic effects on employees’ performance and health.
Though once hailed as an important step towards improving communication, open offices were actually shown to decrease face-to-face communication by 70% percent.
Not to mention the psychological turmoil of working with someone whose goal is to make your life miserable, or the inevitable stress that comes with being in an environment brimming with noise and distractions.
The solution, contrary to popular belief, isn’t ditching the open office plan altogether, especially when it’s not something you can immediately afford. Instead, you should consider implementing huddle spaces throughout your existing open office to create more agile environments that address the performance issues of open floor plans.
After all, every office layout has its pros and cons.
What are huddle spaces or huddle rooms, and how can they help your employees be more productive? We explore the huddle room concept and potential benefits below.
Don’t Ignore the Importance of Breakout Spaces
The simple, hard truth about open offices is that they aren’t agile or versatile. Nor do they provide an adequate level of privacy to employees.
As many as 54% of high-performance employees say that an open office environment is “too distracting” and hampers their productivity.
How can you address these issues without undertaking major renovation or restructuring work within the office? The answer is — add breakout spaces. According to Tina Rich, designer at Homepolish, “It’s just about having spaces to accompany different kinds of people or sizes of groups and also different activities. […] This helps allow you to have a bit of alone time if you need it.”
And your employees do need alone time every now and again.
How Huddle Spaces Address Open Office Issues
Huddle rooms offer an excellent solution to most — if not all — open office issues. They’re flexible, compact, quiet and designed to promote employee productivity.
Huddle room furniture is a smaller and more intimate space that individuals or small groups of employees can use for meetings, presentations, brainstorming sessions and more.
They also offer a private environment free of noises and distractions, thus allowing employees to focus on their work and be more productive.
Remove Distractions from the Workplace
Open offices are filled with distractions, which in turn impacts employees’ ability to engage with their work or stay concentrated enough to be productive. Even smaller distractions, such as people walking around, phone calls and chatting co-workers, tend to build up.
Thus, employees who crave some alone time away from their peers can use huddle rooms to continue working quietly and without distractions, arrange video conference calls with clients, and also take personal phone calls without the fear of being overheard.
The Zenbooth range of office booths has been designed with the privacy of employees in mind. Offering compact spaces with acoustic, soundproof walls, the booths will allow your employees to find solace in a distraction-free environment whenever they want.
Make the Most of Your Real Estate
Designing optimized, agile office spaces for your employees is essential to promoting productivity. Why not make the most of your real estate by installing portable rooms in under-utilized areas?
Not only will this enable you to use any available space more effectively to support employees’ productivity and well-being, but it will also provide an affordable solution to existing issues with your open floor plan.
Additional office booths are also a plus if you’re struggling to build and equip multiple meeting/conference rooms for your workers. Given that 75% of meetings are among 3-4 people only, installing multiple huddle rooms throughout the office will make more sense, both from a financial and productivity perspective, as opposed to larger conference rooms.
Zenbooths are available in multiple dimensions, accommodating teams of 4-6 people as well as smaller groups of 2-3. Depending on the needs of your employees, you can install several smaller or larger booths, or a combination of the two models to allow for greater flexibility in your open office.
With Huddle Spaces There's Reservation Necessary
In most workplaces, conference rooms need to be booked well in advance. It’s a sad fact of the office life, taking away the opportunity for impromptu meetings and briefings that are often so necessary to keeping projects on track.
And if there’s only one conference room available, it can seriously delay progress and result in missed deadlines.
Another notable benefit of huddle rooms is their spontaneous character. Once installed throughout the office, employees can simply walk in and get their meetings or briefings rolling — without the need for prior reservation.
Check out our Executive Booth XL and Executive Room, which can seat 2-3 and 4-6 people respectively. Designed with height-adjustable desks, soundproof walls, built-in ventilation system and echo-absorbing aluminum panels, these Zenbooth models are the perfect alternative to standard conference rooms.
The Fast and Easy Way to Optimize Your Open Office
We’ve already covered the financial benefits of installing huddle rooms to eliminate privacy, communication and performance issues. What about their ease of use and convenience?
When you’re considering making changes to your existing open floor office, a key consideration you shouldn’t overlook is the impact on your company. You don’t want to be stuck with complicated and time-consuming renovations that, while beneficial to your employees, will hurt your bottom line.
The good news is, huddle spaces are easy to install and use in every office — yours included. The Zenbooth selection of office booths can be implemented anywhere without a great deal of technical work.