There have been hundreds of studies done by psychologists and business strategists in order to find out how they can optimise office space/decor with productivity in the staff. A small but significant part of the atmosphere created in an office comes down to the partitions by which it is divided.
Listed below are the advantages of using wooden boards and glass screens as office partitions with regards to working environment and employee productivity.
- There is a defined area in which staff can call their own.
- If the material is made out of chip board or a thick cloth, staff can spruce up their work space by pinning personal items on there. This gives them an identity rather than just another username and login number.
- You’re less exposed and, when you need to, can get your head down and finish by those important deadlines.
- There are far less distractions around the staff that will sway them from their tasks.
- There is also more privacy for those days when you just want to be left alone and not get involved in other activities around you.
- Firstly, glass panels give a more open-plan feel to the office, making staff feel less stuffy and enclosed.
- They can lead to a brighter working area, ensuring any tired eyes early in the morning can properly wake up.
- There can be a more social vibe to the office which can lead to better working relationships, although this comes with the caveat that staff may socialise too much!
- There is a sense of belonging in that staff may feel more involved on tasks which they may not necessarily be assigned to, but are aware of its presence. Stops any feeling of isolation.
- Finally, the glass wall panels look stylish. A vibrant, interesting and modern office helps to perk up the spirits of its staff, even if it’s just a little.
Research has suggested that office design greatly influences productivity. For example the colour scheme of an office can dictate the mood of staff i.e. reds make staff more tense and alert whereas blues make them feel calmer and more serene.
If there is less interaction between staff, through standard partitions dividing the office, then productivity will increase. However, motivation and job satisfaction tends to decrease which, in the long run, is bad for productivity.
If there are glass partitions, coupled with a more open plan office design, then there will be more interaction between staff for problem solving and an emphasis on team work. Of course, this could lead to the staff having more social conversations rather than work problem solving.
If you work in an office with either of these partitions, feel free to comment below to share your thoughts on how productivity is affected by it!
James Duval is an IT Support Manager during the day and an Applied Workplace blogger in his spare time.