Does your office have a productivity problem? It just might if you have an open office layout. Research has shown that open office environments are not all they’re cracked up to be, but utilizing a private workspace alternative can alleviate issues that come with too much open space.
How Privacy Benefits Workers
Open offices were in vogue a few decades ago. Initially, advocates of this type of layout thought the absence of doors and walls would make for better communication and increased teamwork. Sadly, these open office enthusiasts were incorrect in their assumptions.
Open offices have been proven to be detrimental to productivity. One of the greatest problems with having no walls in a workplace is having no sound barriers. Noise is far more distracting to workers than was originally imagined, and more than half of employees surveyed in recent studies said they needed more quiet at work.
Furthermore, noise distractions in open offices aren’t just limited to the time someone is talking or playing music. Once taken away from their work by noise, people can require up to 23 minutes to restore their concentration, according to research at Berlin’s Humboldt University.
Loss of focus isn’t solely a problem for employees. Companies are affected at the bottom line when workers can’t get their individual tasks completed on time or meet to go over projects. Creativity is dampened and due dates are missed when employees can’t focus on their jobs.
Far more workers find noise and other distractions a problem in open office environments than those who need more unhindered space (only about 10 percent of those surveyed). Additionally, noise isn’t the only open workplace problem. Employees and management studied complained about:
- Lack of personal privacy and not being able to converse with a spouse or doctor without coworkers overhearing sensitive information
- Poor work privacy and lack of quiet for confidential discussions with managers and phone calls to clients
- Visual disturbances, such as people walking by their desks or constant activity in their peripheral vision
- Agitation from incessant noise and distraction
- Unprofessional work atmosphere when clients or contractors call on the office
- Theft of personal property
- Disagreements about loud talking, unpleasant food smells, and the playing of music during work hours
- Allergic reactions and breathing difficulties due to cologne and other scented personal products
- Increased sick time due to a stressful work environment (employees in open offices take up to 62 percent more sick time)
- Problems retaining employees who tire of open workspaces
- Difficulty recruiting older, more skilled workers who favor traditional walled offices
- Sexual harassment of workers who sit in a “goldfish bowl” environment
- Feeling like they can’t take a moment to think about a work challenge without being perceived as “slacking off”
- Inadequate seating and table space and having to jockey for space every morning like in a game of musical chairs
- Anxiety for introverts and people who need less interpersonal interaction on a day-to-day level
Open Office Solutions
There are a couple of solutions to open offices, but most of them are unsatisfactory. Moving, for example, isn’t financially feasible for most businesses. The cost is prohibitive to secure a new location, change over all the office technology and move the components of the office. The upheaval is draining on employees and can cause lost customers in the process.
Reconstructing the office is a solution some businesses have resorted to, often undoing expensive renovations to make the office open in the first place. However, construction is intrusive to conducting business, and like moving, it’s also expensive.
Some open offices aren’t suited to walls and doors because of architectural specifications. Rental spaces may not allow doing any permanent construction within the office.
Office phone booths offer a better answer to the open office quandary. These are movable mini rooms that can be ordered online or over the phone, shipped to the business location, and assembled within a day to provide privacy and quiet for management and employees. They screen out sound and distractions so whoever is using one can work in peace.
The price of office phone booths is quite reasonable compared to the solutions mentioned above, and their use is flexible. The booths can be left available for quick ad hoc calls and conversations or booked by appointment for longer use, such as visiting customers, team meetings, and special projects.
Office Phone Booth Specifications and Features
Is an office phone booth the right solution for your business? For most companies with an open office, the answer is yes.
They are available in various sizes, from one-person booths to those that accommodate two or four people. These varying sizes meet office needs and fit into different size spaces. Smaller booths come equipped with built-in desks, which can be height adjustable if desired.
Most businesses find they have an unused corner where a booth can be placed or that they can rearrange some furniture to make room.
With Zenbooths, you just need a level floor and enough room for the booth and its modest door swing. A nearby 110V three-prong electrical outlet is sufficient to provide power inside the booth for light, ventilation, and the operation and charging of electronics, as well as for the use of telephones requiring cables.
Learn More By Contacting Our Office Furniture Specialists
If an open office concept is ruining your business’s productivity, isn’t it time to do something to remedy the situation? For more information about how an office phone booth could transform your workplace, contact Zenbooth.
We have attractive, eco-friendly, booths for companies like yours, and in just a week to a couple months’ time, your office could be changing how it gets work done.