Privacy in Open Spaces

Open workspaces have been a trend for many years, and they continue to steadily grow in popularity. In fact, more than 70% of employees in the United States now work in an open office environment. Open layouts foster communication, teamwork, and approachability. I work daily on researching what the top trends are in the office furniture world, and the open plan concept continues to cultivate its place in the business environments. In short, just like rock and roll, it’s here to stay! Though the benefits of this concept can be felt throughout a company, this layout is especially attracting attention within specific departments.

Marketing and sales are just a couple of examples, where an open environment allows teams to bounce ideas off one another and more efficiently share information. Beyond departments, more executives are endorsing the open office strategy as they watch it increase communication and help make a team more cohesive, as well as provide them, as leaders, with a better, clearer picture of what’s going on within their company.
Just like every other trend, this concept does receive its fair share of criticism. The two most common complaints about an open office concept are distractions and privacy. However, make no mistake that the benefits by far outweigh the negatives. There are solutions to better mitigate distractions and secure employee privacy, that allow everyone to succeed in their space. 

With open offices on the rise, the re-birth of breakout rooms also happened. Typically break rooms were known as places to eat lunch in or a hub to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in. However, break rooms have now become a spot for employees to get a moment away to clear their minds, make a personal call, hold a small group meeting and of course enjoy a snack or meal.

A newer trend is bookable rooms, which are pretty self-explanatory based on their name. Bookable rooms are locations that can be used on either a first-come, first serve basis or scheduled in advance for a specific time. There are many options of software, that can assist with bookable room scheduling and availability. 
Finding a private space is easier for companies to manage than the issue of distractions. More than 10,000 workers from across 14 countries were recently surveyed, and the findings showed that office workers are losing approximately 80 minutes a day due to distractions. If solutions aren’t provided to lessen these distractions, many employees find themselves unmotivated, unproductive and overly stressed. 

It’s no surprise that having an open office layout can allow noise levels to rapidly escalate, which once again points to another great benefit to having a company breakout room(s). While distractions in the office lead to unproductiveness from employees, a breakout room can help create a more dynamic space where people have the freedom to enjoy the peace and quiet or chat to their colleagues in specially designed zones. These rooms not only mitigate distractions but are effective in helping boost the mood or morale of your employees.
Simply allowing more personal control over the physical workspace (e.g. open office or breakout rooms) and providing easy access to meeting places, encourages group cohesiveness and job satisfaction. Knowing there are private, quiet rooms available, where you won’t get kicked out when you’re focused, promotes a strong psychological sense of privacy and control. This will keep employees from worrying about a workplace environment where they are abruptly shoved out of a space or invaded by sudden, interruptive discussions. Knowing they can focus and complete tasks that require concentration, streamlines productivity.

There are many products to help with finding that balance of openness and privacy. Featured below are just a few of the many options OfficeSource has to offer. 
Our Variant Collection offers an array of options that can be built to suit for open office layouts while still having the ability to offer some privacy. With the privacy panels that can be mounted to both the top and underside of desks you will have the feel of an open office but with the privacy of a traditional layout. 

Trendy, modern, and comfortable furniture that not only looks good but makes a great space to work privately, eliminating any surrounding distractions.  Create unique seating solutions in your workspace that can serve more than one purpose. 

Durable and lightweight, the Spry Mobile Whiteboards are great to use as mobile dividers in open office spaces. Go from a collaboration session to individual spaces in a matter of minutes with locking casters and a magnetic surface.

Explore the endless possibilities of configuring your office space through the use of office partitions, office dividers, and panel systems.
Now that you have the common spaces up to date, why not look at some break-out room options? With all the options out there it may be hard to decide what you would like your breakout spaces to look like. OfficeSource offers many options that are multifunctional that are perfect! 
Choose a base style, color and even the chairs and accessories you would like, but we don’t just have options when it comes to tables, we also have many styles of chairs that will work in anything from break room to boardroom.