New techniques, tools, and methods for boosting employee productivity are being discussed, argued, and decided on every day. One tool in particular is being hailed as an effective method of helping employees avoid distractions, feel more comfortable in their work environment, and work harder – producing work that is fast, efficient, and quality. The tool in question is privacy panels; compact and often stylish boards that make each individual desk into a working office without the impersonal look of a cubicle.
Here are five ways that privacy panels can make employees work harder, work better, and work happier:
1. Less Visual Distraction
No matter your working style, the human mind is designed to pick up and respond to movement in our area, even if it has nothing to do with you. Some argue this is an engrained cultural habit brought on by many flashy billboards, colorful screens, and constant entertainment, while others say it is a primal trait designed to keep us alert to predators or nearby danger. No matter the origin of this habit, as a worker, you’ll naturally be distracted by a coworker rising to copy a paper, retrieve a cup of coffee, or signal to another coworker. Although there’s very little entertainment value in these visual distractions and your coworker is probably not a tiger is disguise, trying to keep your attention on your work with these little disruptions is difficult.
The quality and speed of your work production relies on your ability to focus and build momentum, completing more tasks at a faster rate. By installing privacy panels around your desk, you are able to block out these little things catching the corners of your eyes and focus solely on your working tasks. This will boost productivity as well as the quality of work you can create.
2. Less Noise Distraction
While privacy panels mainly serve as a visual block, they also block a certain amount of sound. Although you won’t be spared the noise of a coworker shouting across the office to signal another employee, the small clicking of fellow keyboards, your coworker gathering together their paperwork, or the shifting of chairs on the floor will be canceled out. So if a coworker seems to be taking out their passive aggression on their innocent keyboard one annoying clank at a time, a privacy panel can dull this distraction – if not eliminate it entirely. This may seem like a small advantage, but your ability to block out all forms of distraction to focus your mind on your work will make a significant different in your productivity.
3. A Sense of Privacy
Privacy panels serve to seclude you and your desk away from the rest of the office, and by doing so, make you feel secluded in your personal area. With this new solitude, you can focus on your tasks and complete projects, knowing that there will not be a curious coworker glancing over at your computer screen or a bored intern wanting to watch you work.
Additionally, privacy panels serve as a visual barrier between you and your coworkers, encouraging them to leave you to your work, rather than disturb you. You are less likely to enter your boss’s office if the door is shut, and this same instinct will be placed on fellow coworkers with the panel’s advantage. When you settle down at your desk for the day, having this block tells them that you’re not to be disturbed. This can prevent a bored employee from deciding to stop by for a chat when you have a deadline, or a well-meaning coworker interrupting you with matters that could be handled at another time. This allows you to focus for longer periods and complete more.
With this peace of mind of knowing you have reliable privacy, you can shut off that portion of your mind that expects to be distracted at any moment. This reserve — similar to the mental trait that makes your eyes sharp to catch sight of a stalking tiger — ends up becoming a distraction of its own, and a privacy panel eliminates the issue.
4. Customized Work Space
Privacy panels, though minimal, serve as a set of walls between you and your coworker’s office space – creating a small and efficient “office” of your own. With this new privacy and sense of ownership, you can feel free to add personal decorations to your area without fear of disturbing other workers. These personal touches are known for boosting productivity, as they make workers feel more comfortable in their space; this confidence allows them to think creativity and concentrate on their work. These decorations can vary from family photos on their desk to large cat posters on the panels to a range of hanging lights or trinkets.
This also serves the rest of the office, as these little accessories are hidden from view and do not provide distraction for other workers. Perhaps your coworker has that trademark “Hang in There,” cat poster that grates on your nerves; there’s no need to suffer the sight of that every work day. Each employee will have the ability to customize their own personal office space, and not be distracted by each other’s additions.
5. Wall Space
Privacy panels, in addition to serving as stand-in walls for customization, can also serve as wall space for work-enhancing objects. You can place corkboards on the panels to schedule out the day’s work or place important reminders, or charts which gauge the progress and tasks of a recent project. Additionally, the barrier allows employees to place file cabinets near their desks without degrading the look or style of the office as a whole. Then they can store important files, objects, and tools to continue their work without having to pause and retrieve these items from another location.
This simple addition to any office space can make an employee’s work day more productive and far more enjoyable, benefitting the business and the workforce combined.