How Room Dividers Can Be Used to Solve Your Privacy Crisis
Why Privacy Matters So Much to Us
Every business relies on its workforce to succeed which means that every business is always striving to find the means to squeeze every last bit of effort out of them. The past century has seen some innovative and creative ideas implemented while others borderline the ridiculous. However, often the factors that many designers and business owners overlook are the simple necessities in life. If your open plan environment is still rife with stress, discomfort and bears no resemblance to a productive workspace even after a re-design, then chances are you need to look between the lines to find a solution.
Rather than blaming workplace inefficiency on employees in a whim, take step back and look at the environment as a whole and if necessary, call in an objective voice to help. While many modern office designs can look stunning and more than enough to feature in your monthly newsletter, the real root of their success runs much deeper. If you were to hire a professional interior designer, chances are they would begin to explain the concept of human needs. While open plan environments can look remarkable, they are often built around the idea of keeping employees warm, well fed, well-watered and ultimately comfortable within their environment.
Prioritising Effective Work Spaces
When you are hearing about these wonderful new offices that Silicon Valley start-ups are creating; the idea that having food within 100 metres of every employee sounds like a ridiculous luxury. But it should not be. The fact is that this is a feature that we enjoy at home and it is that atmosphere which modern day design is attempting to re-create. Rather than moving our living rooms into the office, the aim is to create environments which are comfortable for people to work in. Once they are satisfied and devoid of distractions, this is when they can work efficiently and effectively.
There was once a stigma over working from home, that it provided the opportunity to slack off and rush whatever work had to be done in an hour. The reality has been very different. By working in a comfortable environment, the benefit for employees has been comfortable surroundings which allow them to operate at an effective level throughout the day. Rather than procrastinating in the office, waiting for the ambience of the surroundings to die down, instead they are able to work, distraction free for short and frequent intervals.
Common Invasions of Privacy While Working
Now, the issue is finding the right balance between the comfortable environment of home and integrating it with the often manic style of the modern day office. Other than creating individual, private offices, there is no way of removing distractions completely. Larger companies tend to work around this with completely separate workspaces tailored to different moods, but we understand that this kind of setup is incredibly unrealistic for smaller businesses. Therefore, the solution needs to be a compromise, creating a pseudo-private environment with all of the perks of a collaborative workspace.
This is what room dividers and acoustic screens are tailored towards. The nature of their design is focused towards cutting down on some of the more common distractions that you tend to run into in any office. The drone of conversations and seemingly perennial phone ringing are a couple of the worst culprits. Meanwhile, visual distractions are a regular disturbance, even if you rarely notice. I would wager that at some point whilst reading this post, you will have glanced up for some reason, whether to look out of the window, checked out what your colleague is harking and raving about and so on.
Using Room Dividers to Create Privacy in Any Environment
At which point, you are probably wondering why room dividers have any impact at all considering distractions are often an issue in close-knit environments. Well, firstly their obvious design focuses on diving open plan spaces, creating this idea that the space is separate, without the need for a brick & mortar wall. If you consider why homeowners use room dividers in their home, then chances are there is a more practical element behind the decision, rather than just a stylistic one. In terms of office design, room dividers come in many different shapes and sizes, some allow natural light to flow through, others are completely mobile and many can even be finished with a variety of different materials.
Where room dividers and office screens really come into their own is the introduction of acoustic foam. This is a material which you may commonly associate with fancy recording studios, equipped with that strange triangular material on the walls which supposedly block the noise and prevent it from escaping. Well, that last part is somewhat a myth, but acoustic foam is incredibly effective at absorbing soundwaves; not entirely, but enough to regain control of volume levels in open plan office environments. If you are constantly being harassed by a particularly boisterous colleague across the room, then acoustic room dividers can be extremely effective at soaking a lot of it up, before it becomes a constant niggle.
Resolving the Privacy Crisis
Creating environments which are comfortable for employees can take time and a little bit of investment. While large organisations may be able to afford to bring in an acoustic engineer, small businesses would be better off experimenting with soft furniture and soft surfaces which are naturally effective at absorbing ambient noise. The issues with each office will be unique, so there will need to be extensive self-examination to determine which solution will work best in your environment. On a basic level though, room dividers and office screens can go a long way to creating a degree of privacy for employees as they are able to address both audible and visual distractions.
If room dividers and office screens sound as though they could be effective in your office, then we do design and manufacture a variety of styles here at Rap Industries. We’ve been in the industry for over 40 years, which has allowed us to develop extensive expertise in the sector while working with clients to address the issues in their workplace.