Today, many people still stress the fact that an open plan office is the best way to operate, but, an office fitout specialist argue that that isn’t necessarily the case. For example, it’s great to have a large, open plan office, provided that your employees have an element of privacy, i.e., with their own personal ‘pod’ or partition.
This doesn’t mean that they will be entirely cut off from everyone else, and it will certainly still be easy to spot those who are slacking off or avoiding work in general. However, it does offer your employees an element of separation, which is important. Allow us to elaborate:
Open plan offices without partitions can become terribly noisy
And those noise levels will play a huge role in your employee performance. As in, their performance will drop as the noise levels increase. The fact is, employees in open plan offices have been found to have higher stress levels, and that is closely linked to the noisy environment, and the social exhaustion that comes with being on display to the entire office, all day.
Being watched is exhausting
Without a partition to offer a little respite, your employees will end up feeling exhausted and there’s a reason for that. – Because they will spend more energy on trying to avoid distraction and feeling the pressure of ‘being watched’ all day.
Personalisation gives a positive sense of control over work space
Specialists believe that affording your employees their own private ‘partition’ within an open plan office can help to bolster their performance and reduce stress levels. This is because, rather feeing as though they are sharing a space with everyone else, that they have a little slice of their own privacy.
By allowing them to personalise their workstation, such as hanging a picture on their partition or bringing in a plant; you will notice a significant reduction in stress levels and overall sick days in the long run.
Keep an eye on your employees whilst allowing them an element of privacy
A partition doesn’t necessarily have to be floor to ceiling. So, rather than offering your employees total privacy, you can break up the office and offer them their own space with relative privacy. This is the most effective ‘happy-medium’, with proven track record of bolstering employee performance. This is largely due to the fact that noise is reduced, employees feel more comfortable and yet your management will still be able to see clearly when individuals aren’t performing.
The great thing about installing partitions is that they’re cheap and easy to install. In addition to that, you can switch things up easy enough as well, so if you find that it’s not working for you in a particular optimisation, you can move things around. All in all, partitions are better for adapting an open plan office, as opposed to offering no privacy at all. Trust in your employees and invest in their comfort and you will notice a drastic change in employee performance and satisfaction.