Open-plan offices are undoubtedly very popular. It enhances employee collaboration, innovation, and communication, it also helps to save up on office space. Nevertheless, 95% of people who work in open-plan offices say they struggle to focus, which leads to less productivity. And the most common distraction – the socializing colleagues. This has led to the popularization of activity-based office or as we like to call it – the focus-based office.
Focus-based offices consist of different designated areas where you can focus on different types of tasks.
Open-plan offices have replaced the cubicles and with that more emphasis is given to collaboration and less to working privately. It is common to have rows or clusters of desks or even one long communal table where everybody works. But sometimes you need more privacy to tune out all office noises and fully focus on the task at hand.
Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that we need to start building private offices and to put up cubicle walls. With the right furniture that has good acoustic qualities, you can create private and sound-absorbing workstations that help employees to focus without interruptions.
The ways of working maybe have changed during the years but need for private meetings has stayed the same, if not increased. With all the hassle going on in open-plan offices every day one might need even more uninterrupted one-on-one time in certain situations. Quick meetings to catch up on daily tasks or to decide the next steps in the project plan don’t have to be held in big, official meeting rooms. But they do require dedicated space where you are not interrupted mid-thought.
Just having a lot of people in the same room doesn’t mean innovative ideas will foster. Innovation needs first and foremost the right mindset but also a little help of the right environment. Do you feel inspired in a meeting room with a long table and uncomfortable office chairs? I guess not. To get your mind moving, you need to move first. To think up something new, work on it, try it out and play with it, we need a dynamic, flexible space where the furniture doesn’t hamper us but helps us.
Taking small breaks is essential to productive, focused work. Every office space needs lounge and waiting areas to take a moment to chat or read a book before diving back into work with a rested mind. With the help of acoustic screens or wall panels attached to the sofas themselves, you can add the lounge area to every existing open plan office without any need to find a bigger space.
Open-plan offices are easily customizable and with the right layout, they can both enhance collaboration and support focused working in private. To get to know more about the focus-based office, read our case-study about Softrend’s new office or sign up for our newsletter.