Working In An Open Plan Office Environment? Here's How To Make It Work

Working In An Open Plan Office Environment? Here's How To Make It Work

Daniel Hall 06/10/2021
Working In An Open Plan Office Environment? Here's How To Make It Work

As the years roll past, and the prices for real estate go up, the need for open offices is getting bigger.

Even if you have never worked in such an environment, it is very likely that someday you will. When working in such a place, you have to deal with a lot of people, and when you are not getting along with your colleagues, it can be very unpleasant. Here are some tips on how to make an open plan office experience more comfortable, and relaxing.

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1. Create Guidelines

Your workers will understand why you're employing an open office layout and what you anticipate from it if you involve them in developing office etiquette rules. Despite the drawbacks of an open office, you'll receive particular insights on how to improve the workplace environment for them, and you'll acquire the team's buy-in. Provide instructions on when and how to work remotely, how to manage phone calls, when to take brainstorming outside of focus zones, and how to avoid distractions. Even if your team doesn't want or require a set of guidelines, working together to create a POV will help to avoid misunderstandings down the road.

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2. Use Office Pods

You may use an office pod as a phone booth, a workplace, a conference room, a writing room, or a leisure area - the possibilities are endless. Office pods are a convenient way to provide additional peace to a workspace. When a room is created with the greatest need in mind and is located close to individuals who require it, even a single office pod can lower noise levels in an office. If you live in Australia, you can check out what Portable Partitions Australia has to offer as they have a lot of options in this regard. To guarantee that the office pods serve as many people as possible, it is a good idea to create ground rules for their use. For example, reserving a communal phone booth for hours as a personal writing booth is not a smart idea. Even though a single office pod can provide respite to an office in crisis owing to excessive noise, it is best to obtain a sufficient number of pods at once to guarantee that they are flexibly available to users.

3. Reduce Noise

Your staff should also be aware of noise and their role in reducing it. The following are some highlights from some common sense suggestions from LogiSon Acoustic Network, which specializes in sound masking solutions:

  • Use a voice volume that is appropriate for the situation.
  • Meetings should not be held at your workspace; instead, they should be held in an area designated for meetings and open discussions.
  • Find a quiet spot where you can have impromptu discussions.
  • Don't scream or speak beyond your next-door neighbor.
  • Use speaker phones sparingly.
  • Ringers and alerts should be turned down. 
  • Use the vibrate feature on your phone.
  • Before you interrupt, have a look around. Return later or send a note that they can respond to at a later time if someone is occupied and your inquiry can wait.
  • Remove the humming, finger drumming, and pencil tapping.
  • If someone complains, listen to what they have to say.
  • If you overhear anything intimate, respect the privacy of others.

4. Optimize Office Space

When designing your area, keep ventilation, lighting, and soundproofing in mind. Consider flexible, movable furniture that can be changed to suit solo or group work. Don't forget to designate spaces for interaction and others that are free of distractions. Provide quiet zones, spaces for individual phone talks or two-person meetings, and locations for small and big team meetings, lunch, coffee breaks, and socializing.

5. Allow the Use of Empty Rooms

If an employee wants a few hours of quiet time to accomplish work, allowing them to utilize conference rooms or boardrooms while they are not in use might be beneficial. This takes into consideration the fact that everyone works differently - some prefer background noise, while others prefer complete stillness.

Allowing employees to occupy their area as needed will increase productivity since they will be able to focus and accomplish tasks more quickly in an atmosphere that fits them. Additionally, vacant rooms are a fantastic idea when workers need to make long phone conversations and don't want to disturb the rest of the office.

6. Keep Smells to a Minimum

Remember that some meals have a strong odor, therefore dispose of food waste carefully, and keep in mind that food left out overnight might stink a lot. Because some people have allergies or simply don't enjoy the fragrance, keep perfume and cologne to a minimum.

If you want your office space to run smoothly, keep in mind the above pieces of advice. They will improve your working place and thus the productivity of your company.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

 

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