How to Create Quiet Spaces in the Workplace

2020-02-10T14:34:24+00:00October 12th, 2017|Workplace Design|

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 office 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

Private and enclosed spaces, like Steelcase’s IRYS Pods, provide individuals or small groups the option to touchdown and focus.

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 a lounge space with informal furniture such as Jenny Club Low Chairs and Campfire Footrests so your employees can take a quick break in comfort. Also pictured, Campfire Slim Tables.

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.

Add some “walls”

Woman on phone sitting in private space created by a Clipper freestanding screenJenny Club Low Chair pairs perfectly with Clipper Freestanding Screens to create a boundary and minimize visual distractions. Also pictured, Campfire Footrest and Campfire Skate Portable Table.

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. Providing portable, freestanding screens, like Clipper, allows 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.

Encourage workers to signal the need for privacy

Campfire Half Lounge paired with Campfire Personal Table creates a change of scenery for employees to focus on individual work.

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

EMU Heaven Seating and Tables by Steelcase make a great addition to outdoor spaces while providing long-lasting comfort.

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!

Get in touch with our team of professional space designers to help you get started on incorporating quiet office spaces into your workplace!