Collaboration AND Quiet:

The Importance of Designing for Both



A time to come together and a time to put your head down and get work done. A modern workplace needs space for both. But in the ever-prevalent open office, it can be a challenge to create a space for focus.

Over half of the employees complained about noise in an Oxford Economics Survey. “Millennials were especially likely to voice concern about rising decibels, and to wear headphones to drown out the sound or leave their desks in search of quieter corners,” states a CityLab article.

So how exactly can you create those quieter corners? There are lots of innovative furniture options for companies that want to tackle the problem of creating space for uninterrupted work. Some futuristic, some basic, but all addressing the age-old problem of eliminating distractions. There are pods, telephone booths, and baffles for walls.

To create the illusion of a defined room within a wide, open space, consider Pallet Space Division Furniture. Sometimes all that’s needed is the notion of four walls to help increase focus. Waddell will also be launching a new product that specializes in space division during the 2019 NeoCon event. This product comes with acoustic paneling to really help keep the peace. For customization, it comes with different display options.

Whichever route you go, creating nooks to help employees find their focus pays off. “Noise distractions lead to lower productivity and higher absentee rates. That’s why a workspace that minimizes distraction of all kinds isn’t just an HR decision; it’s a smart financial move. For example, the Information Overload Research Group estimates that digital distraction alone costs U.S. companies almost $1 trillion dollars annually.” reports this Entrepreneur article.

When the office has a place for quiet concentration, employees are less likely to want to work from home. And the elimination of constant distractions enables workers to have longer stretches of productivity.

Spaces for collaboration are a bit easier to come by, while places for quiet need a more deliberate approach–like the suggestions above. However, a quick and easy way to make a room more conducive to collaboration is to add a whiteboard. Ghent has a variety of boards that can help facilitate brainstorming sessions and make it so everyone can see the process and join in.

So there you have it. Creating space for both collaboration and quiet can help save money, productivity, and sanity.