Focus spaces in the modern office
In today's fast-paced and dynamic work environment, productivity is the key to success. Employers and employees alike are constantly seeking ways to optimise their workspaces to boost focus, creativity and efficiency. But as workers, we encounter distraction after distraction at work every day. Some people frequently arrive at work early to get some work done before the office fills up with people, other people remain late for the same reason, with others regularly going on the lookout for a quiet area during the day.
As a direct result of the near-constant interruptions we experience at work, one such innovative approach gaining popularity is the implementation of focus spaces in the modern office. These designated areas offer a sanctuary where individuals can concentrate on their tasks without distractions, leading to increased productivity and improved well-being. In this article, we will delve into the concept of focus spaces, explore their benefits, and examine how they can revolutionise the way we work.
Finding the right balance
According to research, effective work performance involves both teamwork and individual focus. In order to maintain that balance and increase office productivity, workspaces should be built to support both work styles. And unlike the traditional open plan layouts, focus spaces are designated areas within an office created with the intention of providing employees with a quiet and secluded environment where they can either immerse themselves in their tasks without interruptions, or work together as a team in a particular area for particular jobs.
Deep concentration work, a concept popularised by productivity expert Cal Newport, is the capacity to work on a designated job or project for four or more unbroken hours each day. Some people can do some individual work, such as responding to emails, in common or communal locations. But the majority of workers need access to more private places than an open plan workstation for professional tasks that demand deep concentration, writing, coding or analytics.
The benefits of focus spaces
The primary advantage of focus spaces is the significant boost they provide to individual productivity. By minimising distractions, employees can fully immerse themselves in their work, leading to higher quality output and quicker task completion. In bustling open offices, maintaining concentration can be challenging. Focus spaces address this issue by creating a controlled environment that allows individuals to stay focused for extended periods, or for teams to work collaboratively without distractions.
Noise and constant interruptions can contribute to workplace stress. By offering quiet and peaceful spaces, employees can find moments of respite, reducing stress levels and increasing overall job satisfaction. Focus spaces not only aid in focused tasks but can also serve as creative havens. When working on creative projects, employees can immerse themselves fully and tap into their creative potential, all without compromising the advantages of an open office setting.
Creating effective focus spaces
To ensure that focus spaces are truly effective, careful planning and consideration are essential. The 4 key factors to creating the best focus spaces are:
Location: Choose locations that are away from high-traffic areas and noisy equipment. Consider areas with natural light to enhance the ambiance.
Comfort: Furnish the spaces with ergonomic furniture and comfortable seating to promote a sense of well-being and prevent physical strain.
Technology: Provide essential tools like power outlets and Wi-Fi connectivity, ideally built-in to the furniture, to enable seamless work within these spaces.
Flexibility: Design the spaces to be flexible, allowing employees to reserve them for specific time slots or periods of intense work.
Furniture solution for focus spaces
For sound privacy, the idea of an acoustically designed phone booth or acoustic hub has grown quite popular. Employees can use these quiet areas to conduct customer phone calls, respond to emails, hold video conferences, or simply discuss project ideas. The Chatbox range of acoustic hubs from Dams are excellent spaces for quiet concentration. These single or multi-person acoustic hubs can also double as collaborative areas or meeting spaces where a small team can concentrate on a particular task within the business and withdraw themselves from the noise within the office.
Most people who need to focus however prefer solitude. Giving people options for where to work inside the workplace promotes a more productive workspace, a better working environment, and improved individual performance. Highly relevant in today’s modern open plan offices, Priva workspaces are designed for those moments where personal space is required to focus on tasks with minimal noise and distraction. The solo booths are a great place for individuals to seek refuge away the busy, hectic office environment by creating a compact, secluded working area, which is sometimes needed for a period of intensive work or concentration.
Another example of focus space furniture is a meeting booth, which offers that essential private area in any busy workplace to accommodate working groups with exceptional comfort and practicality. High backs offer a private place for employees to sit and relax, or for teams to meet in seclusion. The Alban meeting both from Dams Social Spaces portfolio reflects the change towards a comfortable, informal workspace and is ideal for team meetings, collaborative tasks or as a base for the day, With tables and optional power supply, meeting booths are perfect as team focus spaces in open space environments.
Incorporating focus spaces in modern offices is a strategic move that can significantly enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. But employees need options so they can choose a workspace that fits their work preferences; one that allows them to concentrate, or work together in privacy in teams. By providing employees with such environments that support deep work and creativity, employers can empower their workforce to achieve new heights of excellence.
The trend towards focus spaces is a testament to the evolving nature of office design, highlighting the importance of balancing collaboration spaces with private, quiet areas, together with individual preferences and the modern working arrangements of employees. As we continue to embrace innovation in the workplace, focus spaces are sure to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of work.