Open Office Privacy: How to Create Privacy in an Open Office

by | Jan 21, 2022 | Office Furniture

Please don’t come in now; we are doing things that don’t include YOU!!!

It is one of the most hilarious and clever door signs for open offices, as asking someone to maintain privacy in an open set-up is like throwing pearls before swine, i.e., totally useless.

But let’s call a spade a spade; open offices are contemporary and appealing. Over the past few decades, the trend has changed drastically as individual cubicles have been replaced with open-style arrangements. Usually, open offices are the new normal for most businesses, but some businesses failed to execute the idea flawlessly.

In a recent research findings by Harvard Business Review, employees’ face-to-face interaction and communication decreased by 70% in open offices compared to private ones. Additionally, employees prefer texting and messages to coordinate with their co-workers in offices with open set-ups.

Besides, researchers have also confirmed the rapid increase in popularity of open office settings because corporate premises are getting more expensive with each passing day. Nevertheless, employees still demand seclusion in work environment. Every 3 minutes, the workers’ work gets interrupted in an open-setting office, and it takes them more than 20 minutes to resume work from the interruption.

Sadly, the lack of privacy also causes stress and an absence of engagement among employees. The research findings by Ipsos and the Workspace Futures Team of Steelcase also show that 85% of the people can’t work with full concentration in an open-office set-up. As a result, the employee satisfaction rate and engagement level decrease drastically.

The ongoing covid-19 pandemic has intensified the stress level about open office plans. Most business organizations prefer private set-ups to ensure the safety and protection of the employees. Most experts consider open-office layouts the probable cause of spreading the virus. Therefore, they recommend private set-ups or personal space to keep everyone safe at the workplace.

History Behind Open-Office Layouts

Over the past few years, technical and start-up setups have shown significant expansion globally. That’s why; collaborative efforts were considered essential to encourage creativity among employees and the management. The introduction of low or no partition, smoking cubicles, and contemporary furniture was deemed the most innovative idea to boost-up everyone’s productivity radically.

On the other hand, individual and task-based set-ups tend to show less-effective results without any mutual collaboration.

Nevertheless, millions of employees still feel sidetracked and wish for privacy to meet all their goals and objectives without any stress.

Another main drawback of open-office arrangements and lack of seclusion at the workplace is that it increases the spread of germs and virus employees bring with them at the workplace.

Can you believe, employees in open set-up take more than 60% additional leaves than employees in cubicle types of office?

Hence, creating a safe and creative environment for everyone who works in open settings is necessary.

But, how to meet this objective?

Let’s explore together.

Ideal Ways to Create Safety and Privacy in Open Office

Generally, most employees don’t share their ideas with colleagues and keep things with them. It not only isolates them but affects their performance too. Private offices, a unique work environment, and collaborative spaces with an exclusive environment provide immense prospects to your employees to meet desired goals and objectives based on the assigned tasks.

So, business owners and managers need to create a workstation that makes employees feel engaged at the workplace. It’s a remarkable way to foster healthy communication and interaction among everyone part of the project.

You must be thinking, is there any way to encourage privacy in open-office layouts?

Indeed, there are several effective ways to create a secluded and efficient workplace for your employees, even in offices with open layouts.

Encourage Spacing Separately

It is pretty essential to bring all the desks closer to each other. Surprisingly, not all the commercial set-ups make the ideal use of their free-up spaces. Resultantly, more than 40%-45% of the space in commercial set-ups gets wasted.

It is strongly recommended that you don’t waste commercial spaces to create spacious workstations for the employees. Remember, each workstation should be separate from the other one based on privacy concerns.

Creating personal space for each employee makes them feel valuable and contended, especially when they have different ongoing projects to manage. This renewed sense of privacy is imperative to boost-up energy and enthusiasm level among every employee. They can think better in their personal space and develop the best possible and creative solution.

Latest Office Tech

Smart technology should be introduced to increase productivity instead of hindering it. For instance, introducing high-adjustable desks are perfect for employees to improve their physical and mental health. Workspaces can introduce different interesting features such as charging outlets and cable management. Such smart features make the transition effortless from one place to another.

Computer Monitors with Privacy Screen

The privacy screen (also known as a privacy filter) is a light-filtering material with a thin screen. The ultimate objective of the computer screen is to make the contents from the monitor look less visible from all peripheral angles. Generally, such privacy filters are made-up of acrylic. Amazingly, they allow employees to work on their personal computers with full concentration and privacy.

Undoubtedly, the screen is visible to employees when they sit in front of it but can’t see anything on the side. So, it is beneficial for the companies to introduce monitor filters as it is a noticeable initiative to make employees feel guarded.

Consider Wall Partitioning

Are you thinking about towering barriers? Why don’t you consider partitioning walls to divide the big office into small parts? It is pretty easy to free-stand them or install them on the floor. Partitioning walls can create privacy for every employee once the towering barriers have been installed correctly.

The remarkable thing about towering barriers is that they are temporary and light in weight, unlike most office walls. The vertical structure of partitioning walls can transitorily block the visuals between two or more spaces.

You can quickly put them in the desired workspace to encourage privacy among employees. Nevertheless, it is necessary to buy separate walls according to your office needs and size.

Introduce Mobile Whiteboards

Do you know the main difference between regular whiteboards and mobile whiteboards? Amazingly, whiteboards are not limited to one place as you can move them easily. The bottom-mounted wheels of whiteboards enable them to move freely from one place to another without any problem.

As mentioned earlier, whiteboards can separate two spaces. Thus, they share more similarities with partitioning walls. You can easily separate two desks by placing a whiteboard between them. Incredibly, your employees can use these whiteboards for other productive purposes too. For instance, they can make notes and meeting schedules on them.

Precisely, such whiteboards can be used for multi-purposes.

You can consider buying Height-Adjustable White Board Standing Desks for your office setting. It serves for multiple purposes, i.e., you can use it as a remote board and can be converted into a desk whenever needed. It can be moved around for sudden and urgent meetings. Furthermore, it can be used as high-adjustable desks, and you can write multiple tasks on them. Sounds amazing? Indeed, it’s a fantastic idea.

Design Common Workspaces

It’s appreciable if your employees have individual workstations. However, you should also design shared workspaces to promote more teamwork and collaboration. You can introduce high tables for some short meetings to make it easier for the employees to share the advanced solutions for a particular problem.

Another great advantage of such settings is that they can be stretched and modified to accommodate your team’s distinct needs. Hence, there is nothing wrong with introducing shared workspaces, but make sure you properly meet all the privacy concerns.

Desk Dividers

Minor privacy implementation can have a remarkable impact on your employees. Think about desk dividers (i.e., desks with dividing screens). They give a sense of seclusion to employees, and their distraction level also decreases. Modesty panels (another name for desk dividers) are perfect to create a private and peaceful environment in offices with open layouts.

They are excellent physical barriers between different workstations that can be installed effortlessly. No problem if multiple employees are using the single large table as a desk divider to separate them. Desk dividers can be positioned vertically to separate employees’ workspace.

Peaceful Space

A peaceful workspace provides tranquility and contentment when an employee starts working. No worries if there is no specific peaceful space or areas for your employees in an open-office set-up. You can classify the breakroom as a quiet space for them. Also, it’s a brilliant idea to label underutilized boardrooms as break or peace rooms for the employees. Noise makes employees exhausted and irritable, especially in an open setting.

According to National Centre for Biotechnology Information, noise is one of the key causes that discourages employees from showing their 100% at the workplace. It hurts employees’ morale than any other factor, including inadequate spacing, poor quality of light, and unhygienic workspace.

Privacy Film on Glass

Privacy film is a self-adhesive material that can be applied to a glass’s surface. It hinders the view once you attach it to the glass. Nowadays, almost every other company and business set-up have glass doors and windows. They are using them in different rooms, and employees can easily see them. That’s why; it’s recommended to apply privacy film on the glass as it decreases visibility and gives chances to the employees to work in a comfortable and safe environment.

Privacy Pod / Phone Booth

Interestingly, a privacy pod is a good way to create a more private workspace for each employee. Privacy pods are soundproof and notable for open set-ups. They create a peaceful, calm, and relaxed environment for the employees.

Primarily, a privacy pod can accommodate one person at a time, but you can look for a phone booth to accommodate 2 to 4 employees, according to your office space and requirements. Regardless of size, privacy pods are superb addition to giving your office a private and calm appearance.

Include Plants

Plants can give a fresh and healthy look to your workspace. Additionally, they are perfect for creating a secure and private work environment. They are more cost-effective than most other options. Besides, they act as a divider between workstations.

It is suggested to use tall plants to give more sense of solitude to the employees. Plants provide fresh air to employees and enhance their productivity considerably. They generate ‘feel-good hormones’ among individuals and make them feel less stressed. When such happiness hormones are released, employees feel happier, healthier, thoughtful, and active.

Manage Your Practices to Improve Privacy in Open-Office Settings

Remember, an office’s layout is not a one-size fit all project. Every set-up is different from the other one, and you need to come up with the best solution according to your office setting.

You can opt for different comfort design options (including an adjustable desk) to include ergonomics solutions to all your business needs.

Employees are assets for the company, and it is an essential task to provide them with a comfortable work environment and peace of mind. So, give significance to privacy and take all the tips mentioned above seriously.

Keep in mind, that top-quality, ergonomic furniture is needed for a comfortable workspace. Therefore, always choose the furniture shop that prepares the best furniture according to your business needs.

Your employees’ favorite piece of furniture should be their desk and chair. Choosing the right furniture according to your employees’ needs goes a long way. Employees feel energetic and complete all their assigned tasks with full zeal and zest.

In a nutshell, the right furniture is the most productive investment that never goes wasted.

Related blog: Furniture Influences Learning: Things to Consider When Buying New School Furniture in 2022

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