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Workspace design that is both quiet and collaborative

Open concept offices do not work for every business. Design quiet spaces designated for work with soundproofed cubicles and "quiet work area" signs. Have a separate area with tables, chairs, TV, etc. to break from work and chat with colleagues.

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Written by DeletedUser

The open office craze does not work for every business and can be quite distracting with the low walls so you can see your neighbour, a group chatting nearby and people dropping by and interrupting you.

Design offices with designated workspaces that are distinctly quiet. Have higher walled cubicles with soundproofing, white noise in the drop ceiling and walls, office etiquette that accommodates quiet work and signs to mark the quiet space. If a quick meeting is needed, have drop in first come first serve mini-conference rooms, and bookable meeting rooms; again soundproofed.

When people need a break from work or need some interaction there is a designated open area with a tables, couches, chairs, pool table, TV, etc. In this space people are able to talk with colleagues and break away from work.

What are the benefits of your concept for the individual and the employer?

The individual can be more productive in the quiet workspace and feels like they are accomplishing work and not being interrupted all day. The individual gets a mental health boost from not being distracted or getting annoyed. If work is getting too stressful or they just need a break, there is the designated space for meeting with colleagues and unwinding. The employer has a more productive employee.

What might the impact of your concept be and how might it be measured?

The impact would be the productivity gain from a less stressed and uninterrupted employee. As well, as the potential decrease in sick days when the employee just doesn't want to come into a noisy environment where no work can get done. The productivity gain can be measured based on the previous output and quality of that output from employees in the completely open office space compared to the output and it's quality after the use of designated quiet workspaces.

How might your concept be designed to scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?

In larger offices with multiple floors or areas, the concept could be rolled out in one space and then scaled up to the additional floors and areas.

How might you design a small experiment around your concept that would mobilise action?

An organization could redesign one location to have a quiet work area and open relaxation area and measure the outcome and productivity gains. If successful and the employees like the new design, then the new design can be rolled out to other locations.


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Great, comprehensive ideas. I love that this concept considers break areas part of the workspace, it's such an important part of networking and connecting in larger office. I was part of a quickly growing, 200+ office and one of the best networking opportunities was the conversion of a meeting room into a "Rock Band" studio.

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