We’re moving into a new office space and all the desks are spaced out and separated by dividers. I want a collaborative, open space so I’m thinking of taking all the dividers down. But at the same time, I want my staff to concentrate on their jobs. What, do you think, is the best solution?
In any workplace, collaboration is key, and in today’s corporate design circles it is the new buzzword as everybody from furniture manufacturers to interior consultants seek to find the balance between privacy and community.
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As with any solution for your business, the best option is one that fits your organisation, from your company culture to the nature of each team member’s role.
Sales offices, for example, where staff spend a long time on the phone and can tend to be quite loud, often benefit from the increased privacy that tall dividers offer.
Creative teams often prefer the higher levels of interaction possible by having larger shared desks.
Physically speaking, there are a number of simple solutions. Desks can be moved together, and if dividers are necessary you can consider low height ones that still enable easy communication between the team.
If privacy is still important, taller dividers with glass or transparent screens can maintain an aural barrier while allowing line of sight to encourage interaction.
It is very important that your team do have access to both formal and casual collaboration spaces, such as meeting and board rooms and café spaces.
These allow for varied interactions, and ensure that people do get to talk and collaborate in situations other than when they are seated at their desks.
It’s also worth taking into consideration is how often fixed-desks are actually used.
If your employees are out on the road engaging with clients, having a shared desk system save space and allow you to create an informal collaboration area.