As a business owner, whether you work in an open office, or you are pondering the design of an open office space, there are a few guidelines everyone in the office should keep in mind. If you already work in an open plan space, some protocols can really help maintain the peace and make the space work. These rules, together with some design considerations, can be the key to making your open space work.
Voice Levels Should Be Kept Moderate
Voice levels are probably harder for some to control than others, but the important thing is to know your natural voice level and make adjustments. There’s nothing more frustrating than a loud person on the phone. Saracen Interiors are office designers based in Londonwho suggest sound masking as a way to limit noise.
Avoid Meetings in the Open Space
Your desk should only be used for two-person meetings and quiet discussions. If you are meeting with more than two people, schedule the meeting in an appropriate setting, such as the boardroom.
Have Long Conversations Out of Earshot
If you love catching up on weekend gossip with your colleagues, move it away from the workspace and into a more social setting. Most people need to concentrate when sitting at their desks, and overhearing your discussion can be distracting.
Don’t Talk Over Your Neighbour
If you need to talk to someone past your immediate neighbour, go over to them, or try instant messaging.
Never Put Someone on Speaker
Don’t even use speaker phone to dial!
Manage Notifications and Ringers
This is just best practise. The minute you walk into the office, place your mobile phone on vibrate. If you have to have the phone on, turn the volume right down and limit the number of rings. When you get up from your desk, remember to take the phone with you.
Look Before Interrupting
If you can see that someone is busy, for instance, if they have headphones on, and whatever it is you need can wait, come back later or send them a message so they can reply when they’re free.
Avoid Creating Unnecessary Smells or Noise
Gum crackers, knuckle crackers, pencil tappers, popcorn and fish eaters – these can all kill the vibe in the office. Be mindful of those around you.
Respect Other People’s Concerns
If someone complains politely about the noise you are making, understand they probably aren’t trying to be obnoxious. Instead, they likely need to concentrate and are stressed. Alternatively, if it is you who needs to be incredibly quiet to focus, find a quiet space where solitude is guaranteed.
Respect Other People’s Privacy
Sometimes you will hear personal or business-related information not intended for you. Keep it to yourself.
It’s as easy as that! Follow these ten rules, and you can make the most of your open office space design and still be productive.