Are office partitions still relevant in the age of the open office?

Are office partitions still relevant in the age of the open office?

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Office space trends are veering towards more openness and collaboration. Open offices promote teamwork, creative stimulation and pooled resources.

So is the office partition still necessary? The short answer is yes, it is. The slightly longer one is companies should consider strategically placing office partitions, wherever needed to maximise benefits of open and private space. As the workplace becomes more open, certain problems amplify – distractions, lack of privacy, noise, to name a few.

Know your industry and how your team interacts with each other

Zircon Interior has worked with many companies in Melbourne and Sydney to successfully integrate the positive aspects of both office partitions and open space. To achieve this, clients need to:

  • Know and understand how their teams work
  • Incorporate design elements that optimise work efficiency and reduce downtime

Some industries might be more suited to an open floor plan. For graphic design and digital marketing companies, people may need more opportunities to collaborate and glance through various campaigns easily. Media companies are often known for their iconic newsrooms which showcase open floor plans – with writers and editors working side by side, figuring out the best angle for a news story.

However, not everybody in a company needs a high degree of collaboration and interaction. A Harvard Business Review article found that open office layouts have produced less meaningful interaction among co-workers. Results from a study mentioned in the article noted a 70 per cent drop in face-to-face contact. Workers were selective about social and professional interaction when working in an open-plan office. They developed ways of avoiding colleagues through becoming engrossed in online tasks, wearing headphones, going to the bathroom or generally avoiding eye contact.

Some activities are not suited to open plan work areas. For instance, with graphic design, some people may need a quiet space to come up with creative content or to consolidate and refine ideas developed at a brainstorming session. For a news company, editors may need a dedicated space to review stories without input from the writers; an office manager may need somewhere to talk to individual members of a team without everyone else either overhearing or seeing the discussion taking place.

Smart and efficient design is what matters

Office interior

In searching for the best office layout or design, there is no silver bullet. You have to carefully consider what design elements can help you and your team become effective at work. While it may be true that the modern office has shifted its focus from cubicles to shared desks, improved worker productivity is still not a given.

There’s a lot to take into account in designing your office space, and it is easy to cave into the latest craze. That’s why it’s important to tap the expertise of office design experts.

At Zircon Interiors, we combine intelligent design with practicality to ensure that you effectively strike a balance between focus and collaboration in the office.

If you want to tell us more about your ideal or preferred working space, you can call us at 1300 947 266 or email us at info@zirconinteriors.com.au.