Whilst open offices – with their abilities to create a collaborative, more creative environment – are pretty much commonplace today, there is a need to try and make these useful spaces that little bit more private. Many workers, although often inspired by a workplace that is communicative, may find that there are periods in which the atmosphere may prove distracting, affecting their productivity, quality of work and their overall mood.

Finding the right balance between open and private office design in London is key – in order to produce an environment that allows workers to get on with their work, yet offers that easy-accessed collaborative output. With this in mind, what can we do to improve the privacy in an open office environment?

Creating An Added Level of Privacy In An Open Office Design In London.

The four main areas that a business should look at in terms of setting the perfect environment include; the noise levels, visual distractions, space issues and general personal privacy. As an open office design allows for no walls in which to divide up an office, block sounds or to create personal spaces, careful planning is required in order to balance each aspect to create the perfect open/private office design.

Here we'll look at the four areas in more detail:

  • Noise levels (Acoustics).With no internal walls being present within an open office, there'll be nothing to absorb sounds, making for a louder, more distracting office. By making a few simple changes to the design, however, businesses can significantly improve upon this situation.
    • Firstly, investing in soft furnishings would help with sound absorption as opposed to hard surfaces, such as wooden desks.
    • On a similar theme, wooden floors offer the same issue. Although they may look great, the noise produced simply bounces off the floor, proving a distraction. Laying out carpet tiles is a preference for many businesses, as it's able to absorb sound, vastly reducing the distractions created.
    • One of the more popular aspects of office design in London that we carry out here at Oaktree Interiors is that of the creation of 'zones' within the office. These spaces can be designed to be quiet areas, or social ones – often known as 'breakout' spaces/rooms, they are generally social spaces that are designed for informal meetings that are set apart from the formal working environment.
  • Space issues. Office spaces have been shrinking; whether it's the need to implement new styles of furniture, technology or indeed, more workers, the available space for people to work in has been reduced within the last 2 decades. Whilst this is a positive for businesses who are looking to cut down the costs of real estate, it does means less privacy for workers. In order to deal with the issues of shrinking space, many businesses have taken to implementing the practice of 'hot desking' – in which workers change their working stations as and when they require more space, or more privacy. In any modern office design that requires an element of privacy, businesses should strive to offer employees their own desk for them to work at, rather than shared workspaces in which conditions such as noise produced and amount of space available, varies from day-to-day.
  • Visual. Being present in an open office space makes it easy for employees to feel uneasy, as it seems like they are constantly 'being watched' by colleagues. In this type of space in which everyone can see what others are doing, it can actually work to curtail creativity – which is a vital component to have in many industries. Many offices use items such as screen protectors that provide a sense of privacy as the employee is able to go about their work without feeling like they're constantly being watched.
  • Personal aspects of the office. Richard Branson, the founder of The Virgin Group, is credited with coining the line 'look after your staff and they'll take care of the rest' – basically meaning that staff welfare will play a big role in determining the success of the business. Aside from setting up an environment that offers staff the comfort, room and the tools in which to operate, businesses should always remember that staff have lives outside of work. Whether it's speaking to their manager or HR about a personal matter, or if they have to arrange hospital appointments or childcare – instances like this should be catered for within the workplace, if only to put their mind at rest and for them to be able to return to their desk with full concentration placed their work. This is why many an office design in London include private rooms in which people are able to take a break in or to have informal meetings is so important – they won't just provide personal privacy for the person but they'll also provide acoustic privacy for the rest of the office (and the person) too!

Implement Your Ideal Open Office Design – With Oaktree Interiors.

Oaktree Interiors have many years of experience in providing modern, bespoke office design in London and elsewhere in the South of England. We are able to offer our clients a high quality, all-purpose office fit out service that will fill each and every requirement that they may have. With many years of experience in the industry, producing a proven track record in creating custom, modern work environments for all manner of businesses, our office design in London service is unrivalled in its quality.

If you would like more information on how our services can help you to create the ideal open office design for your business, boosting its creative output and offering employees the perfect environment in which to work, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us today. You can call us on 0845 474 3556 or you can send us an e-mail at hello@oaktreeoffice.com.

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