Collaborative desks is becoming more and more popular. In many ways, it’s an improvement over traditional office set-ups. Small teams or partners on a project can more easily discuss progress and form close ties. But if you’re going to change the office seating to get rid of cubicles, you have to maintain these four elements:
A signifigant benefit of cubicles is that it gave employees their own space. The walls gave both an illusion and a legitimate sense of semi-privacy that people need to get through eight hours in the same position. If you get rid of those sturdy cubicle walls, don’t take the opportunity to pack people together in close quarters.
Also, they need to be able to set up temporary barriers throughout the day. Frosted or semi-transparent barriers that sit between two people who face each other can stop people from getting annoyed, distracted, or self-conscious. Let people keep those barriers up as a matter of course and then take them out of the clips or stands when it’s time to collaborate.
Collaborative seating is great until it isn’t. Sometimes people need to work on their own without being surrounded by the same faces. Create small huddle spaces, informal seating, and standing desks so people can change things up when the constant contact gets to be too much.
Collaboration is noisy, even if it’s good noise. But when someone needs to get a spreadsheet or redlines done by 3 p.m., they don’t need to hear the project next door on full blast. Invest in noise barriers and sound-proofing screens that match the office decor. Finding ones that look nice let employees partially block the sound without it being a slap in the face.
For more tips on making your collaborative office a good fit for all working styles, contact us at Studio Other.