Shared working spaces are becoming more popular and with them the idea of office interaction. At the same time, the lines between work and personal life are blurring, which increases our need for personal space and time. It seems that soon enough the office walls will rise again. And that’s not all bad.
West of the wall
Office walls are returning rapidly in most British companies. The reasons are mainly found in noise pollution. Anyone who has had to isolate himself from noisy colleagues using a pair of headphones can understand why. Employees are increasingly expressing their desire to mute noisy environment and gain free control over factors like room temperature and lighting. After all, it’s nice to be able to open a window without immediately hear someone’s complaint about it.
Similar feelings are rising in our business ecosystem as well. The uneasy feeling of panopticon (type of prison that allows only one superintendent to oversee all prisoners without them knowing about it), combined with limited opportunities for solitude creates the opposite effect to the one open offices should strive to create. Instead of sharing and interaction, we are greeted by an artificial isolation via headphones, mobile phones or even completely leaving the current space.
We all love to be the masters of our time and work. But it’s difficult when you’re surrounded by frequent distractions, typical to open offices. Some studies have even gone so far as to say that productivity loss in open offices fails to compensate the funds you save when putting all your employees in one place. You feel the effect stronger when you work on large projects that require days or even weeks to develop.
As we know, open offices were made popular by technology companies in Silicon Valley. It is believed that they utilize most of the space on the lowest possible price. The problem is that the original concept aims to create a unique environment tailored to specific business needs. Instead, we find ourselves getting unification more and more often – endless tight rows of desks with computers that neither meet individual needs nor predispose to a creative workflow.
However, the benefits of open offices are too many to just dismiss them lightly. That is why companies today are looking for a flexible and efficient combination of interactivity and solitude. Corporations nowadays approve projects for open working spaces with firmly established work rules as bans on talking on the phone and eating, for example. Instead, we’ll have small, secluded “cabins” where anyone can retire when the need to focus strikes.
Such offices will also have special rooms to conduct exercises or team meetings in. The idea is that their interior should be more rigid than a standard conference room and be simple and isolated from the common room next door. Mandatory elements are the projecting walls and spaces for sharing ideas and writing down plans. See where we’re going with this? Escreo not just supports but also strongly recommends the creation of as many collaborative spaces as possible that give us privacy without having to go back to the outdated cubicle concept.
The office walls are returning
In one way or another, the office walls will return. And we will follow them. And make sure that they are just as colorful, communicative and helpful as you wish.
Walls can be any, even green. And in more ways than one. As green and those buildings that have become our favorites.