Companies are looking for ways to save money, and an open office can significantly reduce costs. The problem in such places is noise and lack of privacy. As a result, people in open spaces tend to fence off with headphones instead of interacting with others.
A study revealed that a conceptually working person is 5 to 10 percent less efficient if distracted by conversations in close surroundings. Conceptual work is work related to preparing a project, requiring intense mental effort and an intense concentration of attention. People whose jobs include conceptual work are, e.g., designers, computer graphics, architects, etc.
On internet forums, employees often complain that they are unwittingly privy to their colleagues’ private affairs. Another problem is conflicts – which can arise when it is difficult to set the optimal temperature or airflow in the common room that suits everybody.
Representatives of various industries work in open spaces. Whether we are supporters or opponents of open space offices may depend on whether we are extroverts or introverts. The degree of our reaction to external stimuli also matters. Something that will distract one may inspire and “drive” another to action.
Regardless of whether we work in an open space or in intimate rooms – compliance with specific rules is a must.
Silence and Privacy
If you are familiar with working in open space, you must know how irritating other people’s conversations can be. Speaking too loudly to one of the employees distracts the rest of the team. Keeping it quiet and private is essential.
It’s also better to avoid phone calls in the open space. If you need to call someone – speak in a low voice or go out into the corridor. Click here if you want to use a fax, and cut the talking completely. Also, don’t listen in to your colleagues’ conversations – respect their privacy.
Do not look at their notes or look over your shoulder at their computer screen. Keeping your private piece of space at the office, to which no one has access, has an excellent effect on your well-being.
Taking Care of the Appearance
Better avoid doing this in the office. Unfortunately, this is not a beauty salon where you can splash with perfumes without pardon, cream your hands with an intensely fragrant product, and correct your makeup. These are activities that shouldn’t be performed at a desk or in any workroom.
The smell of cosmetics can disturb other employees. If you want to refresh yourself and use perfume – go to the bathroom. Spray it gently and let the fragrance slowly blend in with the surroundings. It is impolite to bring an intensely fragrant cloud of spray into a shared space.
Quick Snacks During Work
It happens that, apart from lunch, we want to eat something quickly at the desk so that we can return to work right away without even leaving the workstation. You may think: a simple onion salad will do the job. You would quickly ease your hunger and return to your duties in no time. However, that might not be the best idea. It is better to leave intensely fragrant dishes at home, or go to the canteen and eat there, away from coworkers who might feel confused.
It would be best not to bring products with an intense smell with you. Especially avoid onions, garlic, fish, and eggs. Better go to the kitchen or other designated room for the meal. A quick and quiet snack should not disturb anyone. On the other hand, loud crunching and munching will be considered rude. These are unacceptable behaviors in open space.
Open Space, Not a Common Use
As a rule, open space improves the flow of information between employees and enhances their creative thinking. However, being in the same room with many people can be a nuisance. Common space does not mean that everything is shared. And not everyone thinks this way.
Sitting in the same room with your entire team does not necessarily mean that you can use someone else’s stuff. It is rude to use a colleague’s computer or take his office supplies. Only if you cannot find the things you need on your desk, talk to someone sitting nearby, and ask them to lend you the item.
Open space in offices for some people results in better communication with other team members, but for others, difficulties with concentrating on work.
Lack of privacy, noise, and a lot of stimuli affect efficiency and make you tired. These are the most common accusations against open space. Supporters of traditional solutions – small rooms for several people – value peace and intimacy, lack of constant control, and reduced pressure.
That is why it is so important to respect other people’s space in an open space office. Only then can we expect someone to respect ours.