How to Create Quiet Zones and Privacy Areas in the Workplace
Love the collaborative vibe of open offices, but not so crazy about the noise and lack of privacy? You’re not alone.
While open office spaces offer many benefits, including increased creativity, collaboration, accessibility, agility, and even better company culture, they also have their downsides — starting with excess noise.
The good news? Office setups don’t have to be one or the other. There are some ways to get in on all the benefits of open offices while mitigating the challenges associated with them.
Read on for a closer look at privacy areas, hubs, quiet zones, and other strategies for achieving balance in an open office space. Plus, we’ll show you how our acoustic solutions can create a more comfortable and productive workplace.
What Are Privacy Areas and Quiet Zones?
While open offices date back to the 1950s in Germany, the open office concept has only recently taken off in the United States. In fact, did you know that today, nearly 70 percent of all Americans work in open offices? It’s true – you might even be one of them!
Despite the collaborative advantages of open offices, research indicates that even low noise levels can lead to increased stress and decreased motivation among workers. Distractions, concentration issues, decreased productivity, lack of privacy, and germs are a few more issues associated with the open office model.
Enter privacy areas, private workspaces, quiet zones, and privacy hubs. Exactly what they sound like, these designated areas provide workers with a private workspace free of noise and other annoying distractions.
From small enclosed cubicles for single workers to larger, open spaces for multi-person group work, or collaborative brainstorming sessions, these spaces can take many forms.
The Value of Designated Quiet Areas
With open office acoustics, employees often find it challenging to focus and concentrate. As a result, efficiency and output both take a pretty big hit.
Not only that, but open spaces have also been linked with lower job satisfaction, increased sick days, and higher turnover rates — all of which are bad business for today’s bottom-line-minded companies.
Privacy areas and quiet zones have emerged as a strategy to combat this phenomenon.
Not only do they increase employees’ abilities to focus and concentrate without interruption, but they also reduce stress and boost overall well-being by providing that much-needed getaway from the constant noise and commotion of open offices.
Ideas to Create Private Areas and Hubs
Privacy areas and quiet working hubs make it possible for companies to achieve the best of both worlds: the collaboration facilitated by open offices with quiet private spaces when necessary.
Here are some private workspace examples:
- Phone Booths/Wall Booths: These small, enclosed, sound absorbent spaces provide privacy for work, phone or video calls, or other quiet activities.
- Quiet Rooms: These larger, enclosed spaces are designed for collaborative, focused group work.
- Huddle Rooms: Similar to quiet rooms, these small, enclosed areas are designed for quick meetings or brainstorming sessions.
- Focus Pods: Designed to provide a private workspace for individuals, these pods offer distraction-free space for deep thought and/or completing work.
- Meeting Pods: Tiny, enclosed rooms suitable for small meetings and group discussions, meeting pods can also serve as a private workspace for employees.
- Cubicles: Creating private workspaces for employees within larger open environments, cubicles offer designated, distraction-free areas for employees to work.
- Desk Dividers/Table Screens: Small barriers made from sound absorbing materials, desk dividers and table screens are a cost-effective and flexible tool for reducing distractions in open offices (might we recommend the Domo Table Screen?)
- Room Dividers/Screens: Want a desk divider but need it on a larger scale? Modular room dividers and screen applications are used to create smaller areas within open offices.
- Acoustic Panels: As an excellent way to absorb sound in offices, acoustic panels can be installed on walls and ceilings to reduce noise levels and create more peaceful work environments.
Let Unika Vaev Spark Some Creativity for Your New Workplace Design
Specializing in innovative acoustic solutions for modern workplaces, Unika Vaev offers an extensive selection of high-quality, customizable acoustic products, including sound absorbing panels, ceiling tiles, room dividers, table screens, wall booths, and lighting (we also have wool felt rugs if you’re looking for a little something extra!).
While acoustic screens and other items are inherently utilitarian, there’s no sacrifice of form for function with Unika Vaev. With a huge range of styles, designs, and colorways to choose from, Unika Vaev’s sustainable sound absorbing solutions are excellent for creating privacy areas, hubs, and quiet zones that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are practical.
At Unika Vaev, we know that comfortable and beautiful spaces make for happy employees — and happy employees make for productive employees. To learn more about improving your workspace with Unika Vaev’s expressive acoustic solutions for open offices, find a local distributor near you.