Why should your office depend on a cubicle layout rather then the trendier “open office design”? Two words – workplace distractions. Although open office layouts have dominated office design style for several years, studies reinforce the fact that having a private space to work in increases employee productivity and satisfaction!
The most common source of distraction in open office designs is background noise. Even an overall noise level of just 55-60 dBA can cause major deterioration in employees’ ability to concentrate.” The four culprits most likely to cause strife are ringing telephones, conversations between co-workers or between a coworker and a party on the other end of a phone, keyboard clacking, printer or computer noise, and sounds from outside.
Many office managers are prompted to tell new employees “You’ll get used to it”, but the opposite is actually true – many employees become more annoyed and distracted by excessive background noise the longer it goes on.
Converting from an open office design to a cubicle layout by using panel extenders and cubicle height extensions can greatly increase employee’s sense of privacy and reduce the amount of noise from adjoining co-workers and common spaces.
In addition to using panel extenders and privacy panels to give each employee their own sound baffled workspace, creating quiet areas away from noisy equipment and other people allows for serious phone calls, focused programming tasks or writing work. Printers and copiers can be relegated to a separate area so the noise they make is less distracting, noise cancelling headphones can be provided to employees on request, and phones chosen that have adjustable ringtones that are less obnoxious than standard default.
The conversion from open office to cubicle format may not be instantly accepted by employees, but as long as open common areas and comfortable break rooms are maintained to get employees “out of the box” during breaks and lunchtimes there should be a short adjustment period followed by acceptance and embracing of the new layout.
Overall, cubicles cut down on distraction in the workplace and will improve overall efficiency and employee morale. Consider trading in your open office design for a more practical layout, and cut down on constant distractions throughout the day without making workers feel overly boxed in.