How to Create Quiet Spaces in the Workplace
Many of today’s offices are open, opting for unassigned seating options instead of private offices. Open workplaces are proven to promote collaboration and impromptu interactions needed for effective work and team dynamics; however, people still need quiet spaces away from distractions and disruptions in order to concentrate. Whether you’re an introvert looking for reprieve, an extrovert needing some focus time, or anything in between, it’s important to include quiet spaces in your office design.
Give employees control over their environment
Giving employees a choice in how and where to work supports employee happiness and wellbeing. By encouraging workers to be alone or find a space more suited to their needs, you’re setting them up for success. Providing options like lounge settings or standing-height desks not only keep workers engaged, but show that management is aware of a variety of work styles and needs.
Provide unassigned, enclosed rooms
Design your space with get-away spots for those who need to make a phone call or take a break from office chatter. Transforming one large meeting room into several small, walled-in spaces can give employees the quiet they need. By using glass doors, you can create privacy while maintaining visibility.
Use furniture to define spaces
Design diverse spaces within offices to support workers who need individual workstations. With the inclusion of “mini settings” that pair a single lounge chair with a small table on wheels and lamp, workers can focus without being surrounded by other people. Placing these settings in corners or by walls can mimic having an office to yourself.
Build some walls (not really)
Define space and establish privacy by incorporating “walls” or dividers within your office. Use curtains, movable whiteboards or screens to create boundaries and let coworkers know you’d like some alone time to work.
Encourage workers to signal the need for privacy
Sometimes the best way to get some quiet time is to let everyone know you’re unavailable. If you’re just looking for uninterrupted work time, try these:
- Put on headphones.
- Block time off your calendar for individual project work.
- Sit at an individual workstation rather than a more casual, social setting like open tables or lounge seating for multiple people.
Add outdoor spaces
When it feels impossible to avoid the miscellaneous office clamor, working outside can be a great solution. By offering tables and seating outside, workers can escape the commotion and clear their minds. But remember: accessibility to power to stay charged is crucial for any outdoor workspace!