The age of the open-concept office is upon us. Dedicated co-working spaces dominate where semi-private cubicles once stood, and the idea is only gaining momentum. Often, these environments promote greater collaboration amongst team members while giving individuals the opportunity to work from any location within the space. But the increased focus on collaboration has come at a cost.
The shift away from individual workspaces leaves many without a sense of privacy in the office. Others find the high amount of interaction distracting when they are working on traditionally “heads down” work. So, how do you maintain a productive and suitably private environment that still embraces the co-working format? By following the tips below.
Even in open workplaces, not everyone is working on the same projects. And the feeling that anyone could be peering over your shoulder at the information on your laptop screen makes many people uneasy. In some cases, where issues of confidentiality having an exposed screen can be considered high-risk, consider issuing every employee a privacy screen that is compatible with their laptop. That way, even if they are caught by surprise, they aren’t worried about what may have been seen before they noticed someone was watching.
If an employee is digging into a sales report or performing significant analysis, being interrupted every few moments by a coworker passing by can make it challenging, if not impossible, to get through detail-oriented tasks. Instead of creating a free-for-all feeling in regards to intruding on others, consider creating a standard signal that lets others know whether interruptions are welcome.
For example, a simple red light or indicator posted on the corner of every workspace can provide those nearby with a suitable signal regarding a person’s availability. When the red light is on, it can be considered the same as a stop light requesting no interruptions. Once they have completed their task, they turn the light off, and collaboration can resume.
For some, concentration requires the ability to remove themselves from the hustle and bustle sounds of the workspace. An easy solution can be to turn a single office or conference room into a quiet room. This gives employees who need a distraction free environment a place to go. Even multiple employees can use the same space, if everyone respects the rules associated with the quiet space.
Another side effect of the noise often generated in open workplaces involves managing conversations with those not located in the office. If an employee is on a phone call with a client, it isn’t good business if they client can hear the local chatter. You can keep crossover to a minimum by creating small, private spaces that can function as phone booths for important calls. Leave enough room for a seat, a small table for a laptop or notepad, and a telephone. Then, your employees can handle their phone-based responsibilities without worrying about what the person on the other end of the call may be able to hear.
If you are interested in more tips for creating a productive co-working environment or if you are looking for your next top employee, the experts at Validity Solutions are available to discuss your needs. Contact us and see what our information technology recruiters can offer your company.