Most offices these days have large open plans that allow you to see basically anywhere once you stand up. These types of offices are much cheaper to construct and they also encourage collaboration and teamwork Unfortunately, they’re not without their disadvantages. So in this post, we’ll be looking at some of the pros and cons of these office layouts and if there are valid arguments for introducing more quiet and secluded spaces in your workspace.
Why should offices have more secluded areas?
When it comes to building an office and designing it for your workflow, there’s a good chance that a secluded area is a low priority. This is because most teams will require you to work together at some point. In fact, multiple departments might be involved in a single project, meaning that there’s going to be a lot of talking and mingling between teams. As such, it’s hard to justify having secluded areas where employees can’t see others or be seen themselves.
However, private space can offer a number of benefits.
For example, an office phone booth could offer teams privacy when it comes to discussing plans that are only relevant to them, but it can also create a quiet and professional area for employees to speak with clients and have online meetings. Private spaces can also mean fewer distractions, resulting in increased focus and a more productive team.
We also can’t forget that secluded spaces can offer a sense of security. They don’t need to be separate booths or rooms either; it could just be a desk with higher walls so that people can’t just stand up and shout at someone across the room to get their attention.
Lastly, there’s the benefit of having quiet spaces where employees can relax and unwind after a long day of work. While this can be hard to incorporate into an existing office floor, there’s no excuse why you can’t convert an existing room into a peaceful room where your staff can sit back, relax, and soothe their senses.
Are there downsides to quiet spaces?
So with all of the above said, are there downsides to quiet spaces too? Let’s examine a few of mine.
When there are more private spaces, it usually means that employees are less likely to see each other. While this is fine during difficult times where everyone is focused, it can be a little disheartening to be surrounded by high walls and forced to focus. It can hurt team morale and you may even see a reduced amount of team engagement.
There’s also the issue of paying more for your office construction because there are more private offices and rooms. An open-plan office is usually very cheap to put together because you don’t need a lot of equipment. There’s also the potential for subcultures to develop in your office, leading to office politics that could have a negative effect on your business as a whole.
In short, there are benefits to having quiet spaces and keeping them to a minimum. It really depends on your workflow and how you prefer to approach your business.