With the open office workplace, privacy is not always easy to find. Some employees may not mind the bustle and noise, but other people may find it difficult to concentrate. The work output can be compromised as well as having some unhappy employees without some kind of privacy available.
Plus, there are four types of privacy which are sought after by employees.
- Acoustic privacy is from noise invasion. Noise levels can affect concentration. Some people can’t think when phones are ringing, coworkers are laughing or talking loudly, or even everyone is printing off copies of something.
- Next, is visual privacy. Visual privacy invasion is caused by something which interrupts the eye and distracts a person from work being done. It could be, for example, a constant flow of foot traffic or the feeling that everyone is watching. Or even, if colleagues are getting up and down from their seats, or everything seem to be at eye level in an office.
- Spatial privacy is where people feel that they have workspace privacy. Feeling closed in because there isn’t enough room to work or not having a personal work space to even turn around in is the invasion here. Also, if there are too many coworkers crammed into one area, it can feel overcrowded.
- Finally, personal privacy is having a place that is one’s own without anyone else involved on the job. This could deal with having the privacy to talk on the phone to a spouse about something personal. This is invaded when you feel like you can’t even get a drink of water by yourself to take some medicine as an example.
So, what’s the solution for the privacy factor?
Solutions to give your employees privacy when needed vary and can be used separately or together. So, glass walls provide acoustic privacy, but the visual invasion is still there because the employee can see what’s going on. Frosted glass can give optical privacy, visual and personal space privacy. Double glazed units, laminated glass, or monolithic glass are all options to eliminate and dampen noise if an area which needs to be quiet while giving the other kinds of privacy.
Glass partitions can also be used in conference rooms, as partitions, and in doorways. They can be used as room dividers, which will give privacy but still let in natural light. Glass can come in color or be colorless, brand-specific or generic.
What about fabric panels?
Some employees prefer the fabric panels of a cubicle. It creates an individual workspace which is less noisy and offers more of personal space. It can help with productivity, even though it’s just a fabric wall. It blocks out the visual distractions and brings down the acoustic levels. Also, their walls can be arranged or configured in different ways, so there is flexibility in an office layout.
Choosing the right fabric walls for use in the workplace is a decision which needs to be thought about carefully though. The style needs to fit the brand of the company and benefit the work environment. The layout needs to be laid out for the most efficiency. All this will contribute to how the employees perform and whether it increases production.
If the issues of acoustic invasion, visual disruption, feeling closed in or not having personal privacy, then something needs to be done about it. With the choice of glass partitions or fabric panels, either of these two options will work. For some employees, open workplace areas aren’t productive, they need quiet and privacy to concentrate.
Another option if an open workspace is the layout of the business, is to install areas where privacy can be found. Spaces can be made to promote quiet and confidentiality. It could be a glass panel area where an employee can sit and work if they wish too. Glass panels can be on wheels for mobility if needed.
Or, individual cubicles with fabric panels for an employees looking to get away from the bustle of the office. These can also be one on wheels which can be moved from area to area.
Not all employees can work in a busy, noisy office; areas should be allotted for those who need privacy and quiet to work.