Making Shared Workspaces Work

Sharing workspacesSharing Workspaces? 8 Tips to Minimize Distractions ?

Learn how to minimize distractions when working in open office spaces.

Sharing workspaces has its advantages but like everything else, it can also have some serious drawbacks. Here are some of them.

  • Open office spaces can be louder and may offer more distractions as compared to closed office spaces.
  • It does not provide enough privacy.
  • It can be difficult to provide an environment that suits all the occupants.
  • It encourages the spread of infections and diseases.?

Despite these disadvantages, sharing workspaces can be beneficial in many ways. It facilitates communication among team members and departments, encourages collaboration and is definitely more cost-effective.?

Open Office Space: Who Is It For?

An open space design is ideal for companies that constantly need a creative environment. As such, it is perfect for advertising and graphic design companies, marketing agencies, professional service firms and journalism newsrooms.

On the other hand, closed office designs are ideal for those who need privacy and confidentiality. Thus, accounting firms, financial planning firms, recruitment agencies and law firms should never adopt an open office design.

Sharing Workspaces: How to Make It Work

What should you do if you are sharing your workspace with your co-workers and you find it difficult to concentrate on your work because of your noisy neighbors? Here are some steps that you need to take.

  • Set an example. The first thing that you need to do is to set an example. Make it a point to keep personal calls to a minimum, speak softly at all times and hope that your officemates will follow your lead.?
  • Ask politely. Ask loud neighbors to keep their voice down, especially if they are holding personal conversations over their cell phones. Just make sure you ask politely to avoid any problems. If they won’t listen, consider taking the issue to your supervisor or human resource department.
  • Coordinate your schedules. Determine when you work most productively and make an arrangement with your officemates to keep noise down during those times. Schedule staggered lunch breaks if you must.
  • Rearrange your desk. If you find it hard to concentrate on your work, try rearranging your desk to minimize visual distraction. You may not be aware of it but it can be as disruptive as noise. And while you’re at it, consider personalizing your space and get clutter-free. For all you know, this simple step can increase your productivity.?
  • Use the conference room. There are times when you absolutely need some privacy to concentrate on your work so consider booking the conference room for an hour or two.
  • Consider wearing earplugs. Earplugs can effectively block outside noise and let you concentrate on your work.
  • Use music or white noise to mask the noise. Listening to soft jazz and/or white noise can effectively block your colleagues’ chatter.
  • Practice yoga. Mastering the principles of yoga can help you tolerate your surroundings and allow you to concentrate on your work at the same time.