Privacy is a very important factor in everybody’s life. Mothers with young children crave it like water in a desert. Writers need it to focus their thoughts. Lovers search it out to bask in its blissful solitude together. All human beings need privacy, just as much as they need public interaction.
Why do Human Beings need Privacy?
People, no matter what race or what part of the World they are from need privacy in some form or another to properly function. The lack of personal privacy inhibits personal development and self-expression, and can disrupt a person’s thought processes.
Why Privacy is so important at the Office:
The lack of privacy in an employee’s workspace can hinder a working person’s sense of autonomy, giving them less control over their working environment, and causing their productivity to suffer. In worst case scenarios, it can also be an affront to an employee’s dignity that causes their morale to plummet also.
Below are four major reasons why privacy in an office setting is so important for productive employees to work properly.
#1 – Workplace Information Protections
Businesses small and large have to deal with the workplace security of the information they are working on, or holding. Whether it is a retail outlet with customer credit card or personal information, or a major corporation dealing with sensitive business information or government contract secrets – They all need a safe, secure, and private area in which to handle that information.
With identity theft becoming such an issue these days, employees that are put in charge of handling sensitive information need to have secure and private areas in which to do their jobs, regardless if it is a client’s social security number, or the company’s new plans for the next multi-million dollar widget to hit the market.
Open office areas do not provide these kinds of protections for sensitive business information. Just like you would not use a computer in this day and age without virus protection, employees with access to any type of sensitive information need privacy and security to do their jobs properly.
#2 – Concentration
Constant interruptions, distractions, and background noise can severely hinder an employee’s ability to work. Without privacy and clear train of thought, concentration wanders to everything else except what an employee is supposed to be working on.
According to Teresa Lesiuk, assistant professor at the University of Miami, music can break a worker out of a narrow train of thought, and open their minds to more than just one certain way of thinking.
When an employee is surrounded by cubicles full of fellow employees yammering on phones or to other coworkers, quiet music has been found to be able to give the office worker a sense of personal privacy in their office and enhance concentration in a noisy environment.
No matter what tricks an employee uses in order to drown out the clatter of a busy office, it is a widely accepted fact that privacy is the number one means of ensuring proper concentration on the task at hand in an office setting.
#3 – Personal Space
Definition of Personal Space: The physical space immediately surrounding someone, into which any encroachment feels threatening to or uncomfortable for them.
Everyone has heard of the unseen 4 feet of personal space that people need when interacting with the rest of society. In an office building full of busy coworkers this rule of human nature prevails as well.
Workers in the office or out of it need their own personal space around them in order to feel comfortable. If an employee does not feel comfortable, then they will not be in the proper mindset to work.
This is why privacy is so vital to provide employees with if one wants happy, efficient employees who get the job done on time and get along with their fellow coworkers.
Offices with open spaces need to provide quiet zones and some form of privacy for their employees.
Cubicle workers need enough separated space between other worker’s cubicles as well in order to also feel that they have some designated personal area in-between them, in order to feel that they have an adequate amount of privacy to do their work in.
#4 – Productivity
Privacy for some workers is detrimental to their productivity. These are the workers who absolutely abhor open space office environments. They collaborate when they need to with fellow coworkers and then go back to the sanctity of their cubicle or office in order to finish their work unhindered by needless interruptions.
Increased productivity with an appropriate amount of given effort on the employee’s part, is of course the goal of all businesses worldwide. Regardless of whether the working environment is open spaced or cubicles employees will still need a certain amount of privacy in order to accomplish their working goals also.
The IOSR Journal of Business and Management stated that visibility, accessibility, and informal interaction are all keys to workplace productivity. But without the privacy to sit down alone unhindered, those three important factors to better employee’s productivity are rendered impotent.
There are many different variables that make up a successful working office environment. Businesses that do not calculate worker privacy into their office equation will most likely suffer for it in the form of lost productivity, which will then equal out to lost profit margins and the inability to properly compete with more efficient competitors.
Providing workers with the proper privacy they need in order to do their jobs is a small price to pay for a successful, happy working office that can still be interactive and collaborative.
Privacy does not mean isolationism. Employers can walk the balance between both worlds in order to create a working environment that is reliably capable of producing desired results without wasting materials, time, or energy, and that is just good business at its best.