There are many ways to address the need for privacy in the office. From stopping coworkers from looking over your shoulder to eliminating as much noise as possible, privacy does not always mean isolation. The office space design you provide for employees depends on their needs. There is a time and a place for open and shared office space but there is a constant need for the privacy and focus of a well-designed workspace. Free from excessive noise and distractions, a private workspace can be designed in a variety of ways. Modern cubicles, acoustic furniture, and even private rooms are providing workers with the individual space they need.
While we have seen a recent push for hybrid and collaborative workspaces, it is important that we do not compromise employee privacy when they are in the office. When designing an office, all aspects need to be taken into account. Does the office space need to remain private at all times or how often will employees need to work with others? These are all questions that need to be taken into consideration when trying to incorporate privacy into an office space design.
Much like padded or carpeted walls in a recording studio, acoustic furniture aims to provide a muted environment. The purpose of acoustic furniture is not to cancel the noise. Its purpose is to simply absorb the sound waves to limit reverberations. Furniture covered with sound-absorbing material such as felt or foam does just that. From furniture to moveable panels to well-designed modern cubicles, acoustic furniture can help bring focus to your office space design.
"Sound is one of the biggest distractions in an office."
Acoustic panels can serve as a divider similar to a partition but their main purpose is to disrupt sound waves from traveling through an office. This technology can block, absorb, and/or diffuse sound waves. And with multiple colors styles and textures can enhance instead of detracting from your office style.
Sound is one of the biggest distractions in an office. Whether or not someone is trying to intentionally disrupt somebody or if there is excessive background noise, sound can and should be managed. Providing employees with the opportunity to perform in a quiet space is essential to maintaining productivity.
Office Pods for Privacy
Office pods pair the noise management technology found in acoustic furniture with an encapsulated or semi-encapsulated workspace. An office pod can be something as simple as high-backed lounge chairs covered with sound-absorbing materials.
"Providing employees with the opportunity to perform in a quiet space is essential to maintaining productivity."
Another option that provides additional privacy is the mobile privacy pod. This offers booth seating enclosed on the sides and covered overhead. This type of seating provides a workspace to meet in small groups or work individually. Other pods resemble fully enclosed intimate cubicles. Pods generally include USB and charging ports to eliminate the need for anything except an employee and their devices. These full privacy pods include lighting and air ventilation systems as well.
The office pod is one of the best ways to provide privacy and focus in an office setting. Regardless of the type of pod, the pod helps block sound and sight and can provide an intimate work setting limiting external distractions. Providing pods for employees as a privacy option helps cut back on social distractions as well.
Office Space Design and Modern Cubicles
Many modern cubicles on the market today are modular and easily rearranged. This gives workers the ability to open up their workspace if needed. The cubicles are often constructed with sound-absorbing materials to limit noise. The barriers not only block and absorb sound but also block the line of sight. The height of the partition depends on the cubicle itself and is customizable to the needs of your space. The modern cubicle helps employees create a personal workspace for focus without becoming completely isolated.
"The modern cubicle helps employees create a personal workspace for focus without becoming completely isolated".
With the ability to easily move the cubicles around the office and add or subtract when needed, cubicles are simple and quick to implement with minimal equipment. From the beginning, the purpose of cubicles was to create a private workspace for employees. And modern cubicles continue to provide this space with enhanced styles and functionality. The modern office cubicle easily meets employees’ needs for privacy and quiet without having to make major changes to the layout of an office.
Enhancing Office Space Design with Partitions
An office partition comes in a large variety of shapes, sizes, styles, and textures. Partitions include everything from acoustic panels to natural plants to screens to complete sliding glass doors. Although they can be made of many different materials, the idea is the same. A partition creates a separate space within an open office plan while reducing the overall volume of the environment. Some partitions are used to divide large rooms while others are used to tightly surround a workplace. The purpose varies with the type, material, and size of the partition. Some mobile whiteboards either freestanding or on wheels can double as partitions as well. This type of partition provides privacy while at the same time providing functionality.
"A partition creates a separate space within an open office plan while reducing the overall volume of the environment".
Reconfigure and move partitioning walls and panels as needed. This can create additional flex space within your open office area. While some partitioning walls are floor mounted with brackets, others are completely free-standing. It is easy to add panels and take them away to create larger or smaller separate areas as needed. A partition is a great way to bring privacy to both groups and individuals throughout the office.
Shared office space makes it extremely difficult to find a little privacy. By designating areas specifically as quiet spaces, it will create a retreat for your team when privacy or critical thinking is needed. Having designated space reduces the need for retrofitting a building with panels, pods, and cubicles. Quiet zones do not have to be used solely as quiet areas or even be used as quiet areas for the entire work day. Conference rooms and meeting rooms can be designated quiet areas throughout shared office space. They provide those using them with privacy from others, while still functioning as a large meeting room as needed. This is a prime example of a hybrid or flexes space area.
Office doors, walls, and even some cubicles use glass as a partition. These glass or plastic barriers have become especially prevalent as we have returned to work post-COVID. While the barriers provided virtually zero privacy aside from a small break in the noise, they did serve as to provide protection from the spread of disease. When applied to barriers, privacy film obstructs views. Privacy film usually gives the glass a frosted appearance. This film is a small, inexpensive change if an office is already fitted with glass or plastic walls and doors. If an office is trying to maintain a specific aesthetic, privacy film comes in different designs. Company culture, logo, and branding can all be incorporated in the privacy film as well.
Adjusting Office Space Design
It is rare that a new space will meet all requirements immediately. But to maximize the productivity and function of a space retrofitting is often necessary. If a business moves into a facility that is set up as an open and shared office space, creating focused workstations often requires many adjustments. The design methods used to transform shared office space mentioned above, transform open spaces into something that is specific to different work needs. Create specialized space within your office divided into countless areas for private meetings, workspace, break areas, and private offices. Transform any work area into an oasis that allows individuals and small groups to work uninterrupted.
As a business grows and responds to the constantly evolving world of work, change is inevitable and necessary. There will always be room for improvement and efficiency. Needs are constantly evolving. The design methods outlined create solutions for small or large-scale implementation. The best part about these methods when adjusting to evolving needs is that all of these strategies can be started with relatively low commitment and expense.
Privacy in the Workplace
The majority of workplaces require areas for privacy and focus. Whether groups need privacy during meetings or individuals at their desks, it is important to provide employees with the necessary tools to do their jobs. Privacy needs will vary based on the task at hand but the idea is the same. Some offices will need only a handful of designated quiet areas while others will require a quiet area for each person.
"Workers value the ability to work uninterrupted in an enjoyable and calming environment."
The acoustic products on the market allow offices to neutralize noise. From partitions to acoustic furniture, the right solution is out there for your office. The privacy possibilities are endless in the office setting. Privacy in the office might not be a top priority for some but these upgrades are about more than privacy. These design methods allow the employees to work more efficiently in a calmer, more relaxing setting. Privacy does not always mean isolation. Workers value the ability to work uninterrupted in an enjoyable and calming environment.
Source of content: https://strongproject.com/
Source of image: Google