Study after psychological study has shown that the ability to focus, and focus for a long period of time is a massive differentiator in the generation of new ideas and high quality work.
“employees in open-plan offices spend 73 per cent less time in face-to-face interactions. Email and messaging use shot up by over 67 per cent.”
Common sense says that this is not just about my own willpower and determination. Put even the most intelligent and determined squirrel on a desert island and they won’t collect many nuts. No, what you need to focus or to help our employees focus is the right environment.
“Many employers are heavily focused on driving collaboration and interaction at the expense of privacy and concentration. This has negative outcomes for both productivity and work relationships.
Organisations should focus on providing workplaces that support the requirements for privacy and focus, as well as interaction and collaboration.”
But, if you’re anything like most works - particularly during recent lockdowns - your environment is the end of the dining table next to a blaring TV and energetic kids or hunched over your laptop on your bed with pins and needles in your legs. Not ideal. Nor is trying to look professional with a bedhead background or your significant other doing the ironing behind you. One business owner recently commented about a colleague after a zoom conference “I was really uncomfortable. It was like we were all in bed with him”.
Even before the recent lockdowns though the ability to focus has been seriously restricted by the unstoppable trend of open plan offices.
It’s gotten so bad that a recent ABC article declared the open plan office ‘dead’. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-18/a-new-study-should-be-the-final-nail-for-open-plan-offices/10007586
It has also spurred the invention of all sorts of wacky gadgets to help workers focus including the Panasonic Wearspace https://panasonic.net/design/flf/works/wear-space/ and brightly coloured ‘leave me alone’ headphones
Sure collaboration is very important but not at the expense of real productivity. So how do you do it? How do you close your open plan? Un-share the office over-share? Get space at home?
Bureau Booths have developed a series of internal and external flat packed pods that give you comfortable, soundproofed space to help you get stuff done in a professional and inspiring environment.
There are also a range of adjacent benefits including
A clear divide between home and work improving mental health when working from home
Ergonomically set up area
Flexibility in when employees focus vs. collaborate
Private meetings and phone calls stay private