Here’s an interesting article by Kelly Eggers about how open offices are placing workers in a difficult position from a noise perspective. The trend of doing away with cubicle walls is still going strong. But the cost savings come at a high price where employee satisfaction is concerned. Kelly has compiled some recent statistics showing that workers who must cope in “open offices” in mid to large sized companies are really struggling. Their work environment is designed for collaboration, but this simply doesn’t mesh with the reality of their day to day job duties. The average white collar worker spends about 2/3 of their time on quiet, focused work that doesn’t involve others. So, why is the office set up to accommodate the type of activities they do the least?
While overall productivity may be negatively affected by this problem, one business owner Eggers interviewed is seeing a huge increase in profits from this trend. The head of Workscape Inc. talks about the opportunities that open office designs are offering to companies that specialize in retrofitting these modern “collaborative” workspaces for better noise control. His firm knows the minute they see an open office design that it’s just a matter of time before the client starts asking for sound-masking technology.
As suppliers in the workplace noise and privacy industry, we’ve experienced the same thing Open offices may not be good for your business, but they certainly help keep us in business! If you’ve discovered that doing away with panels has created productivity and satisfaction problems, let us know. We’ve got the tools you need to retrofit your work environment in a way that’s fast and affordable.