Thoughts on the open plan office design

Thoughts on the open plan office design

Thoughts on the open plan office designDo you love or loathe the open plan office? Whatever your thoughts on the open plan office design it remains a popular choice.

Discomfort is a frequent complaint in any office environment. Two other common complaints include:

  • lack of natural light
  • privacy (none!)

Usually with comfort the fault is with the office chair. However, light and privacy are important comfort factors too.

Lack of Natural Light

Thoughts on the open plan office designIt is thought that up to one in ten employees have no access to natural light. This is a particular problem during winter months. Travelling to and from work is often during the hours of darkness. Lack of natural light is a cause of seasonal affective or winter depression, commonly known as SAD.

Sitting in dim or poor lighting or harsh lighting has a number of other problems too. It is a common cause of eye strain leading to headaches. Dim or poor lighting also affects productivity as it causes drowsiness. Partitioning off individual office spaces can block natural light in larger buildings. One of the main advantages of an open plan workspace is it can be designed so all desks have the benefit of natural light.

Privacy (none!)

Privacy is one of the main reasons people dislike the open plan office design. Certainly for some professions peace and quiet is necessary for concentration and focus. The noise in an open plan office would be distracting. For other professions collaboration actually encourages teamwork important for development of ideas and creativity. It certainly helps with learning, a benefit for newer employees finding their feet.

Thoughts on the open plan office designFree standing and desk mounted screens can help here. They have been designed with acoustic technology to bring noise levels down. A range of designs, sizes and styles are available.

Another option is to have a few private rooms for when employees need focus, peace and quiet for particular tasks. These can be designed with glass partitioning to keep that all important natural light.

Whatever your thoughts on the open plan office design it is true it may not suit every business or even every employee within a business. It is important to look at how a business runs. The day-to-day tasks of each individual employee. Design the space to work for you.

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Office Screens

Office Screens

Atlantic White Desk Mounted Screen with Flower Fabric

Many companies today prefer to use an open plan office. It can be distracting when colleagues at the next desk are on the telephone. By use of floor standing and/or desk mounted office screens individual cubicle space can be provided for each employee. For those in need of “wall space” some office dividers are pin-able. Being available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours the screens can be used as part of the office design adding colour and flow between departments or units.

Desk Mounted Screens

Office Screens

Desk Mounted Wave Top Screen

Supplied with desk mounting brackets. Screens can be linking or non-linking. Design choices  include straight top, curved or waved top (shown in image on left).

Width sizes start from 800mm to over 2000mm depending on requirements.  Height range starts from 380mm.

Colour choices are vast. For example the screen to the left is shown in jade but also available in black, red or royal. Most ranges offer additional fabric and colour choices. Some have designs such as the image above (Atlantic white with flower fabric).

Floor Standing Screens

Like the desk mounted screens, the floor standing dividers are also available in a range of colour and design choices.  Screen heights range from 1000mm to 1800mm with widths from 800mm to 1800mm. Pinboard treatment and linking is offered for floor standing screens too.

If you require further information or advice in choosing office screens please do not hesitate to contact the Saxen Team.

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