What happened to our privacy?


What happened to our privacy?

Following the undisputed drive for open plan, shared work spaces, the top complaint from office workers is now a lack of privacy. Your business becomes everyone's business and vice versa.

In fact, many are resorting to headphones and makeshift barricades in an attempt to block out unwanted distractions.

  • A staggering 85% of workers are dissatisfied with their working environment and find it difficult to concentrate.
  • 31% leave the office to complete work
  • 86 minutes of work time per day are lost because of distractions and disengagement at work

The recent trend has been for offices to become more open plan and more collaborative, in a drive to get people to work better together. This has been largely successful, resulting in huge efficiencies and savings in terms of property occupancy.

However, this seems to have come at a price. A lack of privacy and too much interaction has resulted in employee dissatisfaction - employees feeling unmotivated, unproductive and stressed, that they are unable to think and work creatively and constructively.

Perhaps it is time to redress the balance by finding ways to provide collaborative spaces, but importantly, privacy within these open plan spaces. Places where they can function effectively without distraction.

Different spaces for different types of work.

One idea could be shared private alcoves or pods. For example, by reducing the space allocated to each worker slightly, and adding together the saved space from each workstation you can provide a small private area for workers to share. This shared private area equipped with some lounge furniture, a table, and connections for laptops, phones and tablets provides privacy and an area where workers can go for quiet work or private meetings or phone calls.

Other quiet areas, focus booths or small meeting rooms all have a role to play in providing spaces for workers to go for concentration, focus or just for privacy.

At Cashman Interiors, our space planners design workspaces that work for their users. We understand and advise on all aspects of space planning, including average space per person, corridor widths, refreshment areas, storage, meeting rooms and shared private alcoves.

Challenge the specialists in office refurbishments and fitouts to ensure your workspace achieves the right balance between open plan, collaborative working environments and necessary private, focus areas.


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