How to cope in an open plan office environment
An open plan office won’t be difficult for some people to deal with as they can get things done properly even while interacting socially with others. On the other hand, research shows that open plan offices distract some people as they can be overwhelmed and may be unable to stay focused in such environments.
Most people who find themselves working in an open plan office are often not satisfied with it. It may not be avoidable but you can learn methods to help you survive in an open plan office. Here are 5 ways to make it work for you:
Redesign your space to look private
If you are lucky to have your space in the office close to the wall that might just do. If you are away from the wall, you may want to create one for yourself with a coat hanger, potted plants, or a book shelf just to limit distractions from co-workers. It may not totally shield you but to an extent will give you enough cover from the open plan.
Book for yourself conference or meeting rooms
Another good way to gain privacy in an open plan office is to book the meeting rooms occasionally. Using the room will give you a sense of having a proper office, although for a short time, and you can schedule some activities that demands total concentration and no distractions to this period.
Use quieter work hours to your advantage
If you just got the job, take a week or two to study the work pattern and note the quieter periods. If you are not new, you should know the pattern of activities at your office by now. Set such quiet periods aside to do the most tedious work that demands total concentration and schedule other activities that can still survive distractions to those noisy hours. You can even choose to arrive earlier or stay back a little late just to create a space for yourself to do your most difficult tasks.
Spend your breaks in more relaxing environments
It is better when you enjoy your breaks by taking a time out alone to meditate, or rest and ease-off the stress on you at very quiet locations. You may also not find it convenient to discuss certain things in an open plan office with your friends when you know everyone is listening. You can also use such periods to have a nice time together to relax and be yourself again.
Get rid of the noise
Noise and chatters from co-workers in the office can get too loud for you to concentrate at times, and you wouldn’t want to sound rude telling them to be quiet. A good way to get rid of this is to block-out their chatters with your earphones. You can listen to some nice music, carefully selected to match the mood of your task. For example, you can listen to very cool instrumentals or ambient sounds to give room for retentiveness, and you can listen to some techno or house music to speed you up if you are on some repeat tasks.
If you cannot avoid it then learn to deal with it
You need to understand that disturbance is inevitable in an open plan office and you won’t always get a total privacy in such environments. Staging a protest or getting aggressive will not help either. Use those methods when you can and learn to live with the situation when you cannot change it. With this in mind, you won’t lose your happiness to the situation in your open plan office. If you need help planning and re-decorating your open plan office, Blun Interior Design can help you.