A Fast Company magazine survey from 2013 had readers list the top ten things they hated about open offices, and the list speaks foritself, but complaints centered mainly on being interrupted and not having privacy. In 2016, Fortune magazine penned an article entitled “The Open-Office Concept is Dead,” which fairly unequivocally dismantled the myth of heightened productivity in open office floorplans. It seems that many people truly hate the open office. So, is it time to invest in office privacy? If, like many people, your office is open floorplan, here are the top five signs that you need to invest in some privacy, in order of importance:
- Earphones: Do most or all of the employees in your office work with earphones or earbuds in? Don’t see this as a fashion move, it’s a desperate cry for help. They’re trying to achieve some small modicum of privacy and focus in what is more than likely an extremely loud and distracting environment. Widespread earphones use is our number one sign that you might need to invest in office privacy.
- Conference rooms: Are your conference rooms always in use, even when people aren’t having meetings? Many people unhappy in open floorplan offices find a conference room, quiet corner, or broom closet to work in when they just can’t take it anymore.
- Coffee shops: Do you often walk through the office and wonder where everyone is? I once had a colleague who, when fed up with our open office, would go to a coffee shop any time he needed to concentrate. It wasn't that the coffee shop was quieter, but at least no one would bother him! If your employees decamp to other public spaces not to goof off but to actually get work done, this is not a good sign.
- Early arrival competition: Is there a competition in your office to arrive earlier and earlier in order to get the ‘best spots?’ If no one wants to work at the main work areas but instead compete to get those few places where one can concentrate, you likely have a problem for which privacy is the answer.
- Smells: When you come in every morning, can you smell last night’s takeout? One of the most common complaints about open office floorplans is that the smells that in earlier times might have been confined to a kitchenette or someone’s private office (ahem) are now shared with the entire company. Enough said on this topic, but if smells are a typical complaint, it’s probably time to think about making some changes.
If you’re not sure how to address these issues, give the pros at Signals Defense in Owing Mills, MD a call. They can work with you to install glass walls or partitions and help you define workspaces throughout your office. Need a little privacy? Add some frosted window films to the glass. There are countless variations of frosted film styles and patterns to choose from, or you can incorporate your company’s logo and branding on a custom-printed film! Want to keep your glass clear, but still desire privacy? Our Casper Cloaking film is a great solution. This film allows for an open feel but obscures the computer screens inside a room, thereby dramatically enhance privacy and confidentiality. Another option is to install LCD Switchable Glass that turns opaque with the flip of a switch!
These discreet privacy enhancements can make a big difference to your work environment, so get in touch with Signals Defense for a free estimate today.