4 ways to make open offices less distracting

Today’s free-flow workplaces can enhance collaboration, but they can also create a lot of noise. Here’s how to ensure your employees can still concentrate in open floor plans.

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Many workplaces today feature open spaces and smaller, often shared, workstations. These open floor plans have become the new normal in many organizations.

Some people like them, citing the ability to collaborate with co-workers and the creativity they inspire. However, I hear just as many complaints about how the walk-in visitors, interruptions and noise level diminish productivity, privacy and workplace satisfaction.

According to research from UC Irvine, office workers are interrupted once every 11 minutes, and it can take up to 23 minutes to refocus on what you were doing.

A lot of wasted time every day

The brain isn’t a marvel of infinite capacity. We are only human, with all the limitations that implies. One limitation lies in our capacity to process what’s happening around us, from room temperature to the quality of the lighting.

When you’re trying to focus on a task and you overhear a hallway conversation—even if you don’t mean to—you lose track of what you were doing.

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