It’s 3 o’clock at the office. You are working on a very important presentation that is due in one hour. You are trying to concentrate. Next to your desk, a co-worker is on the phone talking to a client. Right across from you, two members of your team are collaborating on a project. It is New York City, traffic is congested and you can hear the horns and sirens outside.
Anyone who works in New York City knows two things: It’s crowded, and it is loud. Open Plan Offices have been the preferred office design model for businesses, since the decline of the cubicle. Open offices are more interactive, which also helps the free exchange of ideas. However, with no walls to absorb noise, that also means the modern office is a lot noisier than its predecessors. Recent studies have shown that the most successful office environments combine both collaborative and quiet areas.
A new office design concept, referred to in the New York Times article, “Don’t Get Too Comfortable at That Desk” is the “hybrid open plan.” The hybrid open plan combines the best of open and closed space efficient solutions, to creative a productive solution. After all, one’s office should never feel like a crowded subway during rush hour. In this blog, we compiled 3 solutions to create a hybrid open plan in your own office.
Solution 1: Office Phone Booths
So, what are office phone booths? Also referred to as “office privacy pods” or “acoustical office pods,” an office phone booth is a small climate controlled private work area that is equipped with a variety of features, including: sound insulation, interior electrification, and USB ports. While occupying a minimal amount of office space, inside an office phone booth, you can take a private phone call, do independent work, videoconference on skype, plug in a laptop or phone.
Office phone booths are effectively used by open offices and co-working spaces like WeWork, as an intuitive way to create quiet zones in an open office, without taking up a significant amount of space. Office phone booths are a long-term investment for your office. Unlike constructed walls, the modularity of an office phone booth allows for disassembly. So, when your lease expires, you can take your office phone booth with you and install it in your new office. A few options available for office phone booths are the Jabbrrbox and the Zenbooth. A member of our sales or design team will work with you to find the right solution.
Solution 2: Architectural Glass Walls
Architectural glass walls are the timeless office design solution for dividing space in your office. Discussed in our previous post, glass walls divide up space, without sacrificing the spacious feel of being in an open office. Light flows freely through the space, without the additional noise and clamor of the office travelling with it. Companies tend to use sound-proofed glass for conference rooms and private offices. Because glass walls are modular, they can be installed anywhere in an office, and are easier and less expensive than a physical wall installation. Glass walls also carry the option of hinge or sliding doors, and frosted glass can determine the degree of preferred privacy. For more ideas, visit OFH’s selection of architectural walls.
Solution 3: Acoustical Solutions
Many offices also modify their open areas with sound absorbing and noise reduction technology. These include: sound-absorbing desk dividers, acoustical panels and dividers. Acoustical panels can be placed anywhere in the office from above the ceiling, along the walls, and in between desks. A few examples we have at OFH are FLOX sound-absorbing partitions, screen dividers that neatly divide space. These materials can be modified into desk screens, acoustical ceiling nets, work zone dividers—the possibility is endless.
Office Design is very important. How you choose to make your office functional is up to you, and we are here to help. Feel free to contact us, if you have any questions, relating to the design of your space.