Open-plan offices are becoming much more common in the current business landscape as they offer countless benefits. With an open-plan setup, it’s easier than ever for employees to communicate and collaborate. After all, when there are no physical barriers, it’s easier for your team to work as a unit.
This type of office setup is also more cost-effective, as individual desks and cubicle walls don’t need to be purchased. Open-plan offices also allow you to be more flexible with your space, making it easier to rearrange the layout depending on your needs. Many business owners also prefer the aesthetic of these spaces as they look more modern, trendy, and cleaner than cluttered cubicle-filled spaces.
Despite all of the benefits, however, there are some downsides to open plan office setups, not all of which can be solved by a pair of good quality wireless headphones. While these spaces certainly lend themselves to more collaboration and creativity amongst your staff, there are some pitfalls that your staff will need to overcome.
One of the main drawbacks to this type of office setup is the potential for distractions. Oftentimes there can be multiple conversations happening at any given time, both in-person and on the phone. Other co-workers’ habits are often on full display, which can be both annoying and distracting in equal measure.
Being aware of how productivity could be affected in an open-plan office space will help you to put systems and protocols in place to ensure that your staff stays motivated and productive throughout the workday.
Let’s take a look at some useful tips that will help your team to remain productive in an open plan office setup.
1. Cancel Out All That Noise
If there is a lot of noise in the office that is leading to you being distracted, then you need to cancel it out. In fact, in most cases, this is the most important thing that you can do to stay focused and boost productivity. As we briefly touched upon earlier, wearing wireless headphones or headphones specifically designed with noise-cancelling in mind is the easiest way to block out any noise that could distract you from what you need to do.
Be sure to clear it with your manager or boss beforehand and explain why you are using headphones so that there is no confusion when you do feel like putting them on. You’ll be glad to hear, however, that most managers are more than supportive of their staff utilising noise-cancelling technology, especially in an open office environment.
2. Stay Accountable And On Track
You should strongly consider getting into the habit of making a list of everything that you need to complete over the course of your day in order to achieve your professional goals as well as your everyday deliverables. Having a list to work from whether it is written down on paper, in a spreadsheet or on an app, will help to keep you accountable throughout the day.
If you find yourself getting distracted, simply refer to your list to get back on track.
3. Introduce Set Meeting Times
If you are regularly being interrupted by other team members asking questions throughout the day, why not try introducing set meeting times? Simply send out an email and let other team members know that you are under pressure working with different projects and that you would appreciate it if they would book a meeting in advance if they need your help with something.
Alternatively, you can set a time during the day that you are always free for your colleagues to meet with you.
4. Put Signals In Place
Being productive is all about building momentum throughout the day, and nothing destroys that momentum more than a constant string of interruptions. If you are “in the zone”, the last thing you want is for your colleagues to interrupt your flow-state and stop you from ever building any real momentum when you’re trying to work.
A simple “Do Not Disturb” signal or sign can work wonders at keeping disruptions to a minimum. There are lots of quirky solutions and signs that you can utilise when you need some quiet time to focus in an open-plan office. Making time to find the perfect sign for you may work wonders for your productivity on a long-term basis.
5. Consider The Placement Of People
As a business owner or manager, it’s important that you put the right people in the right place for your open plan office space to be a success. When you get to know your team better, you will know which team members are more likely to distract each other and who plays well together. Choosing the right desks for the right team members can help keep distractions to a minimum and thus, boost productivity in the workplace.
Make Your Open Plan Office A Hive Of Productivity Where Your Team Can Thrive
An open-plan office environment is a great solution for any business that wants to improve collaboration, communication, and creativity within its team. However, this style of office setup also has the potential to be distracting which can also impact your productivity.
Following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your employees stay focused, on-task, and that your team thrives in your open-plan office setup.