The biggest challenges in an open plan office
Noise and distractions are the biggest challenges in an open office as found in a recent study from Oxford Economics. Over 1200 senior executives and non-executive employees were surveyed about their workplace arrangements to better understand the opportunities and challenges of the modern workplace.
While some may think that employees only care about free food and ping pong, actually most people come to work to get things done. As it turns out employees’ top priority, in their work environment, is the possibility to focus and work without interruptions.
Recently a new survey by Project:Time Off and GfK showed that Millennials are actually more hardworking than it is believed. They are more likely to see themselves as “work martyrs” and less likely to use all their vacation time. It turns out Millennials are also more likely to say noise distracts them from work. Blocking out distractions increases their productivity and improves their mood.
Management doesn’t always see the problem. For example just 41 percent of employees said they have the necessary tools to minimize distractions, while 63 percent of executives felt that their employees had everything they needed.
How to survive in an open office
Invest in technology that minimizes distractions. Good headphones can block out ambient noise. If your co-workers are ignoring boundaries status lights as Luxafor can stop them from bothering you during your peak performance hours.
Start a dialogue between executives and employees about the ways how you could improve office design to make it more productivity friendly. Start by evaluating what is working and what is not. Maybe there is a need for additional meeting rooms or quiet time.
Encourage everyone to disconnect after hours. We all need our rest to recover from a stressful day to be full of energy the next day. Continuous pressure of being always available has a damaging effect on the way we think and feel. When we can’t fully disconnect, we can’t fully recover.