As the trends for offices are beginning to lean towards a more open-plan interior, the working environment is becoming more social and friendly. Although this is beneficial for a number of reasons, employers are finding that this layout is creating a plethora of distractions, meaning workers are beginning to spend less time at their computer screens and more time socialising.
Whilst its great to encourage interaction between employees, the open plan designs invokes a great deal of visual noise. Movement and activity visible in a worker's eye-line makes it harder to concentrate, meaning less work is completed. An article in The Wall Street Journal suggested that open plan design may not be as progressive and useful as it seems. Peter Reinhardt, CEO of a major software company, decided in April receiving feedback from employees, one of whom had commented she 'wished there was such a thing as human blinders' as she could barely concentrate in the warehouse-style building with its long-lines of vision.
The new design has been likened to a labyrinth, now fitted out with the addition of walls, potted and hanging plants that separate the desks, creating a 'jungle' effect, as described by Mr Reinhardt. According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, a loss of visual privacy is the second biggest issue 42,764 employees in 303 U.S offices with little to no partitions between desks after complained about, with noise being the largest. However plants could tackle this problem too, as in addition to giving employees a sense of personal space in which to complete their work, workers commented that the plants have also helped to keep the noise in the office down too.
At Funky Yukka, we have a wide selection of barriers and troughs that create attractive, non-intimating partitions throughout the workplace. Take a look through our gallery and get in touch by clicking here or call us on 0800 587 46 72