Open spaces are very popular with office designers because they are motivating for employees and foster a team environment. These types of floor plans are also becoming widespread as companies strive to foster collaboration among employees. Open spaces have other advantages. They allow for impromptu meetings. Employees have more chances to interact with each other which helps them form strong relationships, especially with people they may not work with on a regular basis.
Despite the advantages of open spaces, there still needs to be room for privacy in every type of office. Open spaces can be noisy and they make it hard for many people to get their work done effectively. These floor plans can be especially challenging for managers, who often have to conduct business that requires a quiet environment. They may need to talk to upper management, vendors, salespeople and other individuals without outside noise or interruption.
Another one of the challenges that open spaces presents is privacy. Managers, in particular, need privacy to do their work. Why? Think about the many different types of meetings that managers need to have. They need places to conduct private, one-on-one conversations with employees. They need to talk to upper management about issues that aren’t appropriate to share with the rest of the team. Confidentiality is an important issue for management and can’t be underrated. It’s important that team members don’t overhear information that should remain private.
There need to be areas in the office for private sessions like performance appraisals where managers and employees can talk freely. Both parties want privacy and would feel restricted if they felt that they could be overheard. Sometimes, leaders need to give feedback to workers on how they’ve performed particular tasks. Whether this feedback is positive or negative, the need for a secluded place is the same. The employee may have questions that involve other team members. The person may want to discuss issues that are emotional or controversial. In these cases, you can see why privacy is critical for these conversations.
Productivity is another serious concern for management. Some of the tasks managers need to perform are compromised by constant interruptions. Most managers deal with interruptions by scheduling meetings with employees, vendors and workers in other departments instead of allowing people to drop by unannounced. However, when the floor space is open, managers are more likely to fall victim to constant interruptions. That’s why any floor plan needs to take the concerns of managers into consideration.
There are several ways to provide private spaces for leaders. Some companies set up private offices for managers. These let the person close the door when necessary, whether this is for meetings or so that they can concentrate on specific tasks. In other cases, the company may build cubicles in secluded areas for managers and supervisors. There is always the option of building a separate space entirely for all managers, but this will separate them from their teams, which is not ideal. It’s better if managers can be near their teams, while still having privacy.
If managers are in cubicles, they may still not have enough privacy for certain events, like performance appraisals or emotionally charged meetings with employees. They also won’t be able to freely discuss issues with other managers or upper management that should remain private. Many businesses choose to build small conference rooms in several places around the company so managers have a place to meet or make private conference calls when necessary. These rooms also help participants avoid disturbing people in the general office space.
There need to be an ample number of private meeting rooms, as many people will likely need them at the same time. People should rarely need to wait for a private room. This can cause frustration and a drop in productivity. It can also hamper a manager’s ability to schedule conferences with people in other time zones.
Larger conference rooms should be available for the general public. These rooms are important for larger meetings, video conference calls and phone calls that might disturb other people in the office. When the floor plan is open, it’s important to avoid loud meetings whenever possible. Conference rooms, whether large or small, help everyone concentrate.