Successful Work Environments Strike a Balance between Collaboration and Privacy
Let’s face it. A cubicle can never be as private as an enclosed office. But the way we construct them can make a big difference in how much privacy these “workstations” can provide. Successful work environments strike a balance between collaboration and privacy. Businesses are making cubes work by paying close attention to how much privacy each workgroup needs. Their success lies in keeping the environment flexible and adjustable as their company grows. Businesses may have employees on a team that need to collaborate to finalize projects while other teams have been assigned individual tasks where each employee needs to work independently, or made need to be independent some of the time.
How to Strike the Balance between Collaboration and Privacy
The trend for striking a balance is adjusting the wall height of cubicles. Where collaboration is needed, the wall height is shorter. Where privacy is important, the wall height is higher. Glass wall tops and windows allow natural light to enter the cubicles and also allow colleagues to check on each other’s availability. Private cubicles can also be faced toward back walls to reduce visual distractions. To ease auditory distractions where more privacy is needed, acoustical environments with carpeted walls and floors and acoustical ceiling tiles are put in place. Closing in communal areas like cafeterias and conference areas can also help reduce noise.
Returning from Open Offices
Many businesses and employees that have negatively experienced the open office environment long for the day when the cubicle “farms” start to return. Cubes have it over open offices because visual distractions are reduced, employees have a place to keep their tools, and workers can find a corner to focus when they need time alone. Although, office bench stations tend to be about 1/3 less the cost of the workstation, or cubicle, they may not be conducive to particular work environments. Sometimes, a combination of bench stations and cubicles may be necessary to strike a balance between collaboration and privacy.
Consult with Designers
Costly mistakes are greatly reduced when businesses consult with experienced designers. Designers are trained to make areas function optimally and know how to organize space to achieve its best flow. They know the questions to ask and they know what materials are available. A design consultation may open up new avenues. Contact or Call Omega Commercial Interiors and ask to speak to one of our designers. Pictured above are Panel Systems by Hon.