August 11, 2015

Overcome the Noise Challenges of an Open Office Environment

by TrueNorth Desks

The latest trend hitting the corporate world is the open office workspace. Instead of the traditional cubicles, which have been around for decades, companies are breaking down the walls to create a more open environment. But does this trend truly promote a better corporate culture? One downside is that if you remove cubicles then surrounding noise and conversations can be more distracting for employees. It is possible to overcome this obstacle with a few strategic implementations to the office.

Set Up Work-Specific Spaces
The open office setup encourages coworkers to exchange ideas and communicate regularly about projects. On one hand, that’s a huge benefit to the company, but if two coworkers are constantly talking about a project, it can be extremely distracting for people sitting around them. Employees need to be able to escape those surrounding conversations to work at a quiet location. Companies can set up quiet, private rooms for employees to go focus on work. Fill the rooms with ergonomic workstations and make the purpose of those rooms for quiet working. Your employees will be grateful for those rooms when they are under a big deadline.

Put Meeting/Lounge Areas Away from Desks
One downside of an open office environment is that noise can carry far, and without the help of cubicle walls to block out noise, employees can become a part of many conversations happening around them. In order to limit the surrounding noise, make sure to put meeting/lounge areas away from desks. These are the areas where people tend to congregate and discuss details about projects. While it may seem like a good idea to put these lounge areas close to ergonomic desks, it can just be more of a disruption to people around the office.

Invoke Quiet Time
It’s okay to specify certain hours of the day where noise levels should be kept at a minimum. It doesn’t mean that employees can’t talk or communicate with each other, but if they need to, they should go into a closed off room away from the ergonomic desks. Select a few hours during the day, perhaps late morning when most people are catching up on emails, where noise levels are kept to a minimum. It will help employees get some quiet time during the day without having to leave their ergonomic office desks.

If you are considering the transition to an open office environment or if you already have one, our standing workstations are the perfect fit for that environment. Open office setups encourage collaboration and communication between employees, and our sit to stand desks take that to the next level. Learn more about the benefits of height adjustable desks.

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