Getting the best from your office layout design…

Open Office Layout - Noisy Office SolutionsA recent BBC article on the history of open plan offices highlights the modern day problem of noise overload and disruption that come with this style of working.

While this style of working can be positive when teams can discuss and progress projects together it doesn’t allow for any real way of controlling noise and noise stress is as much a Feng Shui issue as glaring colours or unsuitable lighting and can damage the energy of a space.

By its nature the open plan office is large with many people grouped together. This means that not only is concentration difficult due to the noisy conversation going on beside you, your subconscious will be distracted by having to be aware what’s going on behind you.

The addition of partitions between desks is intended to help to reduce the noise and distraction but these are usually placed in front of the desk thereby blocking the outlook from the desk. In Feng Shui what you face represents your future so a barrier is restrictive and counterproductive.

This style of office layout is short sighted – if employees sit in supportive positions they are happier and more productive which in turn means they work better and are likely to stay with the company for longer.

Here are some simple noisy office solutions:

  • Sit with your back to a partition looking into the room. (You can also use the back of furniture such as filing cabinets to be your “solid wall.”)
  • Where your back is exposed for example by a window, place a leafy plant behind you.
  • Avoid sitting with your back to a door – this is the most vulnerable position especially if you are closest to the door. (A literal “last in, first out position.”)
  • If you face a wall or partition then place your business targets or objectives opposite you. This will help you to focus.
  • Add a leafy plant to the desk to absorb some of the energy from so many computers in one space.