5 Ways 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. Using Steelcase research and Turnstone learnings, we’ve created five options of incorporating quiet space into your office.
1. 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 of both lounge settings and standing-height desks keeps workers engaged and accommodates a variety of work styles and needs.
2. Provide unassigned, enclosed rooms
Design your space with get-aways for those who need to make a phone call or take a break from office chatter. Transforming one large meeting room into several small, enclaves or phone booths can give employees the quiet they need. By using glass doors, you can create privacy while maintaining visibility
3. 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 screen, workers can focus without being surrounded by other people. Placing these settings in corners or by walls can mimic the feel of a private office.
4. Add some “walls”
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 focus time to work. Providing portable, freestanding screens, like Clipper, allow employees to adjust their work setting to fit their needs. They can fold the wings to create a quiet haven amidst distracting environments, or they can use multiple side-by-side to build a temporary wall for visual privacy and focused work.
5. 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.
- Create a designated “focus work” table where chatting is not encouraged and individuals can work in quiet while remaining together.
Today’s workplace is bustling, especially for start up organizations and those focused on creativity. To foster the best ideas and productivity out of your team, you need spaces to accommodate all the ways they work – both together and individually.
Do you want help planning an office that provides choice for different work styles and brings your team together? Talk to our team of office design experts today.