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Open space offices have grown popular over the years. This dramatic shift to having shared spaces has some striking benefits, including increased collaboration and teamwork, as well as reduced construction costs.
However, it is still debatable if an open-space design does improve productivity. In fact, moving away from the traditional office cubicles has presented several challenges. For instance, open space offices tend to be noisier and have more distractions due to a lack of partitions.
The effectiveness of open spaces in encouraging collaboration being offset by having noisy and distracting working environments can leave employees including management at a loss. How can they foster collaboration while reducing noise and distractions in their office?
Set some rules
Respecting how other people work is essential in any office. Rules such as turning phones off or putting them in silent mode during working hours can help minimize the noise in the office. There should also be rules on answering phone calls and chatting with colleagues in the working area to ensure that the office space remains a place of productivity for everyone.
Provide dedicated quiet and loud spaces
Quiet rooms, which can be an empty office or an unused conference room, are good places to go to when employees need to focus on their tasks.
Aside from quiet rooms, employers can also designate areas where people can interact and communicate with each other freely. These “loud spaces” can be a pantry, a game room or even a huddle room that has soundproofed walls so as to keep the noise inside.
Speaking of soundproofing, businesses that have severe noise issues, like co-working open spaces, can invest in office materials that have sound-absorbing capabilities. There are a variety of acoustical tiles that you can install in your office walls and ceiling that can block or absorb sound. These materials can be costlier than the alternatives but are definitely worth it considering if you want to retain the spirit of an open office yet mitigate unwanted, excessive distractions.
Invest in sound-masking technology
Sound-masking is an effective way of reducing noise. Some sound-masking systems can be automated to adjust to changing noise levels. If you are on a tight budget, there is some readily available sound-masking equipment available that requires only low voltages to work.
You can also use classical music to combat noise in the office. Classical music has been proven to boost concentration. Set some general music category at different times of the day. For example, play classical music in the morning, mid-tempo music in the afternoon and some fun music after 5 PM. Keeping the office environment lively is a good way to reduce stress and boost productivity.
Respecting each other
At the end of the day, the employer can only do so much. Employees must respect each other’s privacy even in an open space office. Collaboration is essential for a team to work but sometimes, friendly interactions can turn into noisy conversations. Everyone just wants to be productive and do a good job. This requires a certain amount of focus that can only be achieved if the employee is free from distractions.
For your sound-masking needs
Pro Circuit Inc. offers the latest technology of sound-masking to combat office noise. Our company also does upgrades in existing sound masking systems to ensure that they effectively reduce noise.
Call us today at (816) 474-9292 or fill out our inquiry form so we can help.