Open plan office layouts are here to stay. With corporations increasingly prioritising communication amongst colleagues, the fewer physical divisions the better. However, despite this, there will always be a need for privacy, discretion and quiet. The downsides of open plan working are that noise levels can quickly escalate and discreet conversations become a challenge. So for a productive open plan office scheme to work well, some level of partitioning must be included.
As a semi-permanent solution, drywall partitions are great for building structure within a large open plan office space. Parts of the flow that are unlikely to change such as corridor access to reception or bathroom areas. Also, larger zones belonging to single departments, or meeting rooms will benefit from the acoustic cushioning that a more substantial partition provides.
2. Flexible Partitioning
Perhaps the needs of your business are changeable. For growing companies that may be limited in space and budget this is often true. In this case, including flexible partitioning in meeting rooms is ideal to make a space multi-functional for those smaller consultations and larger board meetings alike.
3. Partition Screens
Historically seen as the enemy of the open plan office, screens of old could box up a space and make desks feel claustrophobic. Current designs, however, have revitalised this way of office partitioning, with wave top lines maintaining privacy between adjoining desks while still allowing for communication between colleagues.
Technology in commercial glass has made this material much more accessible. By using glass to partition a meeting room or office area will both divide and include at the same time. Natural light across the office is optimised, which makes everyone feel more energised. In addition, glass can be acoustically cushioned, opaque for increased privacy and even smart to be changeable depending on your requirements.
For fast growing businesses, especially in the world of tech, investing in office partitioning may feel limiting. What happens when your headcount triples in a year? If this is true of your business, it is worth separating your space with demountable partitions. These can be both solid and glass and are easily moved and relocated to keep your space working best for your business.
6. Acoustic Partitions
Partitioning is not just about restricting visibility. For private internal discussions and reviews or delicate new business negotiations, it is vital to have zones within an open plan office space that are entirely private, both visually and acoustically. By ensuring that meeting rooms and designated offices are partitioned with the right materials you can maintain these very practical requirements.
7. Modular Offices
Modules or pods are a rapidly growing trend within open plan office design. Using glass, bespoke half-height partitioning, or booth-based seating, working pods can be incorporated into your office. This is not just great for one to one meetings but can provide a relaxed private space for workers to have a moment of concentration or focus. In this way, investing in this kind of structure can lead to greater productivity.
Why not think out of the box when dividing an open plan office space? Partition your office social or kitchen space with a long breakfast bar, for example. Or commission a bespoke reception desk that keeps your front facing area both separate and open to the rest of the organisation. Furniture and functional elements of your office can divide the space whilst maintaining a practical focus that minimises the feeling of division.
When the methods of breaking up your open plan office seem so numerous, it is easy to feel daunted. At HL Decorating, we have experience in the most inventive and exciting ways of structuring a productive office space. We can advise and implement the right options to provide you with an office layout that works best for your business.