Are quiet time and assurances of privacy at work a priority?
Earlier this month we examined the question, Is spontaneous interaction between non-team members a path to productivity?.
It arose in response to an article Kate Baggott posted on B2B News Network, Open concept vs. cubicles – What’s right for your office? In it she covered a variety of issues to do with answering this question.
Every company has to balance its real estate costs with its cultural need for both interaction and privacy, and for personal work style accommodations that result in employee satisfaction and greater productivity.
But, in today’s post we want to take a quick look at why quietness and privacy are important. In our previous post, we pointed out that:
Workstations divided by proper height panels do some things that create a “sense” of privacy. An example is with phone calls. Appropriate height panels are tall enough to hide your associates phones and computer screens from coworkers sitting across and beside them. And they are low enough so the caller can see who is walking around the area and adjust her conversation if she needs to.
Yet, there is more to quietness and privacy than the proper height of workstation panel. For example, quiet rooms provide a space where employees can go to make calls requiring privacy. These could be personal or business calls. You also should have cubicle stations with high panels where individuals can do solo work. You can place lounge seating in various nooks or isolated spaces in your workspace. These can also work as call areas and places to do distraction-free work.
Intelligent design decisions like these can make your associates happier and more productive. When they have a sense of privacy, they will feel respected and will be more engaged in their work. Gallup recently found that only 13% of employees are engaged while at work. This percentage is an appalling statistic that you need to address.
In addition, some tasks require concentration for optimal results. The distractions of poorly designed open office plans affect your company’s productivity. And not in a positive manner. Your employees need to be able to think. People who speak on the phone most of the day should be separated from those doing creative or analytical tasks.
You should also provide a space for centralized and secure storage for employees’ personal items. For example a locker to place electronic items in when they go to lunch. Or a better solution might be lockable mobile storage units. They can be moved from space to space in your office as employees work on specific tasks.
The key is optimal interior design and the appropriate office furniture. When done right your office design can lead to increased productivity and a better workplace for everyone.