Privacy in the Workplace: How Private Offices Impact Productivity

May 10, 2024

Maintaining privacy in the workplace can significantly affect productivity. Learn why private offices are essential and how to create a private workspace environment. Improve your workplace with GO Bermondsey’s specialised solutions designed to enhance focus and efficiency.

Office space layout as well as workplace culture have undergone a complete overhaul over the past few years. Today, office layouts emphasise openness in design, and have a greater focus on collaboration and team building, as compared to the claustrophobic cubicles of the past that tended to isolate employees.
However, this new shift towards open-plan layouts could be hampering your employees’ productivity and engagement. Privacy too is an important factor to consider when optimising your workplace. Employees often need separate, quiet and private workspaces where they can complete tasks requiring concentration or a private space to hold important meetings.
In other words, workplace privacy is an important factor companies must consider when trying to drive employee productivity. This blog discusses privacy in the workplace and how private offices can help you drive your employees’ productivity.

What is Privacy in the Office?

Next Work Innovation, a German think tank, finds that, on average, employees are interrupted every four minutes. As a result, it takes them about 15% to 24% extra time to complete a task.
Privacy in the office would remove these interruptions from an employee’s environment, allowing them to focus on their work without unnecessary stimuli. Employees must be provided with separate spaces where they can complete individual tasks without being disturbed or distracted.

Why is workplace privacy important and what drives the need for it?

Here is why workplace privacy is important:

  • Improves Workplace Security

Employees often have to work with confidential information such as customer details, confidential government contracts, etc. Access to such sensitive data has to be controlled to ensure proper management and compliance with the law. Lack of privacy for employees can lead to compromised security, potentially resulting in significant costs for companies. Employees’ privacy must be prioritised. This ensures sensitive data is protected and its accessibility monitored.

  • Drives Employee Focus

Constant distractions, interruptions and background sounds can hamper an employee’s focus and ability to complete tasks. For instance, if an employee is surrounded by other employees talking to clients on their phones, it can hinder their conversation with clients. They can find it hard to concentrate on what the client is saying. Alternatively, if they get a private space where they can eliminate this background noise, they can focus better on their client’s needs and handle client calls more effectively.

  • Ensures Personal Space

Personal space is an important consideration when planning out office spaces. Even more so since the pandemic. If employees don’t have adequate personal space, they can feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable. In the process, they might not be in the right mindset to work. To avoid this, employees must be given a certain amount of privacy. This allows them to be more comfortable while working.

What Are the Different Types Of Privacy In The Workplace?

Here are the different types of privacy essential for a productive office environment:

  • Acoustic Privacy

This refers to privacy from noise. It can be achieved in two ways: by absorbing sound with soft furnishings, partitions, perforated ceilings, acoustic panels, carpets, etc., and by offering separate quiet areas where employees can work undisturbed by auditory stimuli.

  • Territorial Privacy

This refers to employees claiming spaces as their own and exercising control over them. Depending on your employee preferences, the space available and the general work culture, you might be able to offer this to some employees. Alternatively, you can also implement a ‘neighbourhood’ setup that offers employees belonging to the same team a specified bank of desks that they can use together.

  • Informational Privacy

This refers to keeping information confidential. Designated private spaces can be offered to employees where they can take calls, hold meetings, etc., safely without being overheard.

  • Visual Privacy

This involves allowing employees to remain unseen by others and free from visual distractions. As is the case with all the types of privacy on the list, this, too, depends on every employee’s personal limits. Some might get distracted by a window overlooking a park, while others might find it difficult to concentrate because of a digital screen on the wall. To offer a space that meets everyone’s needs, design contemplative zones away from areas that attract traffic and are free of any stimuli that can be distracting.

How Can Privacy Help In Productivity?

Privacy in the workplace allows employees to eliminate distractions and unnecessary stimuli that keep them from concentrating on their tasks. As mentioned earlier, an employee gets interrupted at least 15 times every hour or every 4 minutes. If these interruptions are removed from an employee’s environment, they can concentrate better on their work and not waste time getting their train of thought back on track after a distraction. This can benefit the company greatly, too. The same study quoted above also finds that these employee distractions can cost companies a massive €58 billion per year.

5 Ways To Promote Privacy In The Workplace

Privacy In The Workplace

  • Rent a Private Office:

Private offices are the most efficient way of promoting privacy in the office. These separate, quiet rooms allow employees to focus on their work without interruptions and distractions.

  • Use Blinds or Curtains:

This helps you control the amount of visibility in your office. You can use frosted glass on your windows, or blinds on your glass walls, to help keep your space private.

  • Select the correct Office Layout:

Your office layout will depend on the number of employees your company has. For instance, if you have a large number of employees, you might opt for a cubicle layout that allows every employee their own space. Alternatively, if you have fewer employees and enough space, you could consider a U-shaped or L-shaped layout to help ensure employees’ privacy.

  • Soundproof your Office:

This prevents employees or customers outside the office from hearing what is being discussed inside.

  • Invest in Office Furniture:

Lastly, you can invest in office furniture that helps foster employee privacy. This can be in the form of desks that come with panels, or simple portable screens that can work as temporary partitions between workstations in an open office layout.

How Do Private Offices Maintain Your Work Privacy?

Private offices are ideal for privacy in the workplace, as they foster all aspects of privacies- acoustic, territorial, informational and visual. Employees can now concentrate on their work without any distractions and get a sense of personal space where they don’t feel exposed and constantly monitored.
Further, it gives them complete control over their accessibility. In case they wish to collaborate or engage in discussions with colleagues, they can either leave the private office or invite colleagues in.
Finally, it also conveys an employee’s preference for uninterrupted work to their colleagues. By isolating themselves, they signal to others that they are focusing on something important and would prefer not to be disturbed.

Role of GO Bermondsey Private Office In Maintaining Privacy At Workplace

GO Bermondsey offers consciously designed private offices in London that give you the perfect address for your business. Situated on Tanner Street, our spaces help enhance your workplace privacy with comfortable private offices that are well-equipped with modern amenities such as meeting rooms, mail management, and office assistance. Furthermore, with GO Bermondsey, you get private workplaces with exclusive entrances and state-of-the-art entry systems. So, give your employees a new and improved office space with GO Bermondsey’s private offices and watch your productivity soar. To know more, visit the GO Bermondsey website today!

Frequently Asked Questions

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