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5 Design Ideas to Foster Workplace Harmony

Open offices are great at promoting collaboration but we know that they can often pose challenges to productivity. Here are five areas to consider incorporating into your workplace design.

Enclaves:
private conversation/small conference areas

  • Impromptu meetings can be some of the most effective (and most disruptive to coworkers), so be sure to create enough small enclosed areas that do not have to be reserved ahead of time.
  • Ensure enclaves are wired for productivity: computer, screen, phone, etc.

Team Rooms:
for collaborative work

  • Team rooms can be open or enclosed – depending on adjacencies/proximity of other teams/departments.
  • All the essential tools and technology should be implemented: whiteboards or Smartboards, computer, screen, phone, team storage drawers and pin-up space.

Focus Rooms:
a place for heads-down work and uninterrupted concentration

  • Not everyone wants to wear headphones to signal to the world “do not disturb” – and it’s often a signal that gets ignored.
  • Remote Desktops make inter-office migration easier than ever.

Conversation Zones:
includes cafes and open spaces for spontaneous conversation and collaboration

  • Create a communication hub that is centrally located and accessed by all (like your home kitchen).
  • Break-out spaces along pathways are great for impromptu conversations.

Low Panels:
lower panels can mean lower noise levels: when employees can see their coworkers, they’re reminded to speak more quietly

  • Low panels are also a great way to promote collaboration and sharing of information.
| By Michelle Allard

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Quotable

“A mega-trend is sharing instead of ownership of workspaces. We can either all ride in coach or we can share a private jet.”

Chris Blackadder
Principal, Woods Bagot