Ideas for Adding Privacy to the Office
Ever since open offices became a major design trend, there’s been a lot of discussion around the subject of privacy in the workplace. Many people have talked about feeling frustrated by the lack of privacy they experience in open offices and how it can make it more difficult for them to focus on their work.
It’s important to understand that privacy is not an “all or nothing” concept. In the workplace, the amount of privacy people need very often changes throughout the day and it’s good to include privacy solutions that help meet those varying needs. For example, someone might enjoy feeling close to their coworkers for much of the time, but still occasionally need to go someplace where they can focus on something without being interrupted.
There’s a lot of room in between working in private offices and working in a fully open environment and people often prefer something in between those two ends of the privacy spectrum. Here are just a few ways you can support different levels of privacy in the office.
In open offices, desk partitions are an easy way to add space definition and privacy to individual workstations. Whether they’re tall walls like cubicles or a shorter style of partition, people appreciate feeling like their space is their own and that their neighbors won’t be encroaching on their space.
One of the main reasons so many companies have adopted open plan offices is because they like the flexibility they have to offer. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that open offices completely lack defined spaces. Often, you’ll find things like mobile partitions or screens set up to add privacy where it’s needed without making any permanent changes to the space.
It’s also important to note that room partitions can be so much more than portable walls or screens. There are a lot of ways to get creative with space definition. For example, mobile whiteboards could add a little privacy to a collaborative area while also acting as a helpful tool during brainstorming sessions. Or bookshelves could be used to create space definition and provide a functional space for storage or displaying decorative items. Lounge seating with tall backs can essentially provide their own privacy screens. The possibilities are endless!
Sometimes, people just need a place where they can have a private conversation with a colleague, focus on something without distractions, or take a phone call. As open concept offices became more common, privacy pods also grew in popularity as a simple way to give people complete privacy when needed, but without making people feel closed off all the time.
When you think about privacy in the workplace, don’t forget about acoustic privacy. Noise is a very common complaint people have about open offices and extra noise can be extremely disruptive to people who are trying to concentrate on their work. There are also times when people simply need to have a conversation that shouldn’t be overheard by others.
There are lots of different ways to add acoustic privacy to an office. Privacy pods are an effective way to provide both visual and acoustic privacy, but you can also consider other options like acoustic panels or ceiling tiles to absorb excess noise and sound masking systems to distract the ear from other sounds in the area.
If it’s time to rethink the design of your office, Premier Construction & Design can help. We have experience working on spaces that include a wide range of privacy solutions. Take a look at our portfolio and case studies to see some examples of projects we’ve worked on. When you’re ready to get started, contact us so that we can learn more about your project.