Since the dark ages of office interiors where cubicles were the mainstay, the new contemporary open office concept is now widely regarded as the norm and it’s easy to see why.
For business owners and employers, it offers many benefits. Firstly, it is seen as being progressive and open to the modern business world but it also offers financial advantages too, with more staff members being able to work in a single space and this is only good news with ever increasing real estate prices, especially in cities like London.
For employees however, it’s a mixed bag. The positives are clear when an open office environment allows greater collaboration and communications. Impromptu meetings are easy whilst the flow of information and dialogue improves camaraderie. Without those ugly old cubicles, natural light is also allowed to flow better and thus, working conditions are overall regarded as being far better and healthier.
There are these days however, a few common complaints with the open concept office, with the two main culprits being noise and privacy.
When working in an open office environment, there’s no escaping your closest colleagues working methods and habits. If you have a peer who is a loud telephone talker or simply likes to be heard, this can be extremely disruptive, especially to the shy and quiet types.
If you’re unfortunate to have been seated in a high traffic area where there are many comings and goings, the constant shuffling of feet, hustle and bustle, passing conversations and impromptu floor meetings will eventually lead you to want to run straight back to the traditional cubicle in no time at all!
The fact is, open offices are great when team collaboration is a necessity but if concentration, privacy and thinking time is a must, this situation simply won’t do.
A great way to create light and airy spaces that offers the flexibility, privacy and usability needed in open offices is to build small pocket partitioned areas that can be used at a moments notice.
Some companies like to create meeting rooms with a large central conference table that ensures the meeting area still has plenty of light and still feels connected to the rest of the office, yet has just the right balance of privacy needed for such eventualities.
Small pods or incubator offices are also becoming very popular. They offer small spaces for up to four people to get some time away from the noise and distractions that the open office makes inescapable. They’re also a great way to allow the shy and retiring types or those that just need concentration time to hop from their desk and get away from the craziness that an open office can sometimes impose upon us, without feeling as though they may be offending or rejecting their peers.
These simple yet effective solutions are all possible with the installation of full height glass partition system that can be fixed or even modular, allowing you to create your own spaces to the scale and size you need, whenever you want.
At the end of the day, its about striking the right balance and understanding the needs of your employees and how they will all differ in terms of personality, their job roles and how they go about fulfilling their day-to-day tasks.
Some people thrive in busy, bustling environments whilst other shrink and hide away. Partition systems offer a great way of maintaining the modern open office environment whilst offering the necessary cubicles to give those who need privacy and quiet to concentrate where they feel comfortable.
So if your office feels far too open and at times noisy, imposingly unproductive or lacking any spaces to get away from it all, you may need to consider glass partitioned areas to create the spaces required for meetings, focus groups or just some space for those in need of thinking time.