Keeping the Peace: How to Create Privacy in an Open Plan Office

Privacy matters in any office space. When we don’t have enough of it, it can be tough to focus on phone calls, communicate with clients and discuss confidential information in detail – all of which harms employee wellbeing and productivity – not to mention the quality of the work we’re able to produce.

The problem is, privacy and open plan offices don’t always go hand-in-hand. It can be difficult to strike a balance between collaboration and privacy when everyone is in one room together, although there are ways to have your cake and eat it.

Here are five great ways to introduce a welcome layer of privacy to your open plan workspace.

Careful space planning

Space planning companies are experts at maintaining privacy in open plan offices – it’s an important part of the design process. By spacing out desks carefully and designing a layout that takes into account the needs of each individual department, privacy can be improved significantly. For example, sales or customer service could be placed furthest away from those in finance, who need to focus on handling confidential data in private – uninterrupted by constant phone conversations.

Use zoning

A straightforward way of boosting privacy is to use zoning. You can install partitioning walls or dividers, which come in a vast array of sizes, colours and styles, and can be placed between individual desks or used as a way of separating out departments. Used in moderation, they won’t impact the open, airy feel of your space either. You can also use furniture pieces, plants and pivot or sliding walls to create a divide.

Separate meeting areas from the rest of the office

Whether they take place in-person or via the internet, meetings often discuss confidential information – and even when they don’t, the sound of one going on in the background can be distracting to those working in the office. Installing a dedicated meeting room is a great way of keeping distractions to a minimum and giving those in the meeting the privacy they need to talk freely.

Incorporate quiet working areas

Do you have one department in particular that needs total serenity to really focus on their work? Adding a designated quiet working area to your office could help them immensely, allowing them to work uninterrupted but still giving them the freedom to collaborate with their colleagues when required. It’s no wonder that these spaces are becoming more and more popular in modern offices.

Install acoustic panels

Even if you host meetings in a dedicated conference room, thin walls and suspended ceilings mean that sound can leak outside easily. To combat this, you can install acoustic panelling, which comes in a variety of colours and sizes to suit your colour scheme and space requirements. It’s easy to install and can be extremely effective!

Speak to the experts at Plann:d

Unsure which of these measures would best suit your needs? Or maybe you’d like a hand implementing them correctly? Whatever you need, the experienced office space planning team at Plann:d has you covered. From the supply and install of individual products to complete, turnkey redesign and fit-out projects, we’ve worked with businesses in a range of sectors across the UK. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.