The concept of open offices has improved collaborator’s performances in a great way. Employees are more motivated and happier, they integrate better with their coworkers, they don’t feel isolated and bored, and most importantly, they don’t become “robots”. A syndrome that most people develop when working inside 4-wall cubicle walls. And remember, that happy and motivated employees result in your business’s success.
But, as with everything, open offices have positive and negative sides. The most challenging of them is concentrating and focusing when the openness allows too much noise and mess around you, making it sometimes harder to get work done… especially the one that needs urgent attention.
According to author Laura Vanderkam, 4 strategies that can help focus in open offices are:
1. CREATE QUIET SPACES.
If you’re working in a space with limited walls, designate a few spots to create a library-like environment: an otherwise empty conference room, a recently vacated office, etc.
2. CREATE QUIET TIMES.
Think of it as study hall for grown-ups. For some set period of time everyone agrees to do quiet individual work. Collaboration can occur before and commence after.
3. CREATE BUSY SIGNALS.
If “core work hours” aren’t feasible in your organization, or if people need additional time, you can come up with an office-wide signal that means “I’m trying to focus and unless someone’s bleeding, I really prefer you don’t interrupt me”.