Simple ways to reduce distractions open-plan offices

Simple ways to reduce distractions open-plan offices guide, Commercial property advice

Simple Ways to Reduce Distractions in an Open-Plan Office

1 Sep 2022

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” when it comes to designing an office space for your enterprise.

Even though open floor plans are ideal for fostering coordination and collaboration, there are still times when employees need quiet time to focus. Because of this, businesses must provide quiet spaces where employees can get their job done without interruption.

Simple ways to reduce distractions open-plan offices

That is to say, if you plan on having an open floor plan for your company, make sure there are quiet office workstations for employees who require them. In addition to that, there are a few additional things you can do to keep your workers from wandering off and losing valuable work time:

Optimize the physical surroundings to encourage healthier work habits.

The open layout of an office can make it easy for chaos, disorder, and tension to rise to dangerous levels. Messiness is more than simply a nuisance; it may affect your outlook.

While it may not appear so at first, the environment in which you work can significantly influence your productivity. Princeton University neuroscientists say that having a lot of physical clutter in your environment decreases productivity and raises stress levels because your attention is divided.

A tidy office desk is an obvious solution. However, if you want additional benefits, you should replace the clutter with private belongings.

Whether your workplace is more traditional in its seating arrangements or more open, a few personal touches, such as a portrait, a desk toy that represents your character, or a cardigan you can wear if it becomes too chilly (and all of us know how freezing it becomes in open offices), may go a long way toward making your desk a comfortable place to work.

Use creative ways to stop distractors.

Having no walls to hide behind is frustrating since it is impossible to avoid interruptions. Considering that digital communication is “always on,” it’s a wonder that anyone can concentrate.

Concentration and “flow” are necessary for productive work. However, signaling when you don’t want to be disturbed in an open workplace layout might be difficult. While headphones or a shut door may help some people focus, others may not get the message.

Instead, you may use an “interruption stoplight”—a device or indicator that signals your colleagues that you’re concentrating.

PR manager Jackson Carpenter mentioned to the BBC that his company handed out blocks with different colors on each side. If the green bar shows, that signifies you are “available” to talk. But if you’re not, it’s a sign that you’re in “focus” mode.

Set Some Ground Rules For How You Intend To Work

A workplace is more than simply a physical location. It’s a group of individuals who share an environment where they work, play, and try to get along.

In addition, while it may sound a bit much, establishing a few simple, agreed-upon guidelines is a terrific way to eliminate open-plan workplace discontent.

It is important to know the purpose of different areas and how to behave in them. John Ferrigan, a consultant for One Workplace, recommends “coding caves” for quiet, undistracted work. No talking, noise, or phone calls are allowed there, so you’d better get to work if you plan on going there. Every time you enter the room, you know it’s time to buckle down and get to work.

The key to working well together is for everyone to communicate their expectations and requirements. For the simple reason that, in the end, we all want to produce quality results. Also, nobody likes the guy who talks too loudly in the break room when everyone else is trying to work.

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Reduce Office Noise With Noise-Canceling Headphones Or Other Means

In an open workplace setting, headphones serve as a makeshift divider. Most employees have been driven to extremes due to open office layouts, discouraging teamwork rather than fostering it. Over half of employees have admitted to resorting to “headphone jail” to avoid interruptions at work.

Although studies have linked exposure to any kind of background noise to a decrease in productivity, the sound of other people talking is particularly destructive.

Finding a quiet workplace is essential for maintaining your sanity in a noisy open office. Make an effort to have phone discussions in noise-free environments and advise others to do the same.

If that is not possible, you should consider revamping your headphones with noise-canceling headphones. According to a recent study, attempting to tune out a discussion might be just as distracting as being immersed in it. Your mood and output will improve as you increase your access to uninterrupted quiet time.

Finally, be conscious of how you add to the clamor in the office. It’s funny how we can whine about other people’s distracting talks while ignoring our own.

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