Improving concentration in an open office - Alternativ

Closed doors and small offices have made way for open-plan spaces, natural light and plenty of contact with colleagues in the contemporary landscape office.

As a result of a study among 231 participants, published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine, and other sources, it is clear that employees who work in an open office are more physically active than those who spend their days in a traditional office setting.* A landscape office also encourages creativity and collaboration. There is, however, a significant disadvantage associated with this type of layout. The noise that goes hand-in-hand with this type of set-up can cause concentration problems. Find out how to tackle this issue.

1.   Introducing activity-based working

The fact that we can hear conversations between colleagues in an open office is not only disruptive, but it is also detrimental to privacy. That is why some experts suggest that landscape offices can actually lead to less collaboration if there is no large, separate space for meetings, discussions or brainstorming. Employees who do not wish to be overheard, tend to send an email rather than wander over to their colleague’s desk.

With Activity-Based Working (ABW), you resolve many of the issues. ABW means that you set up different types of rooms, from meeting rooms to telephone bubbles or informal breakout spaces, so that your colleagues can easily select the right environment for each type of encounter.

2.   Encourage walking meetings

Limited options for creating separate rooms in your landscape office? You could encourage your team to find privacy by organising a walking meeting, near the office. This change of environment often generates new insights, the exercise is good for your health and a walking meeting is just a pleasant activity.

3.   Install acoustic panels

Acoustic panels are highly effective in improving concentration in an open office. You can install dividing walls between desks (choose panels that are not too high otherwise you cancel out all the benefits of your open, landscape office) but you could also install them on the wall or the ceiling to limit the transfer of noise.

No idea how many ceiling panels you will need? The rule of thumb is that the panels on your ceiling must cover between 35 and 50% of the floor surface, with ceilings that are lower than 3 metres. Is your ceiling higher than 3 metres? Then you are better off covering between 50 and 65% of your office surface area with panels. The rest of the office layout plays a role, of course, and rugs/carpet and upholstered furniture dampen noise too.

Want the best layout in your office?

Our experts are happy to work with you to set up your open office. Make a no-obligation appointment; we would love to find out how we can help.


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Acoustic panels and other ways to limit noise in your office

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