If you have even a passing interest in office design you can’t fail to have noticed headlines such as “The Demise Of The Open Plan Office”. Whether we have seen the back of the open plan office or not, if you are stuck working in one at the moment you need to know how to make the best if the environment that you have.
Top 5 Rules of Open-Plan Office Etiquette:
Ssshhhh....: Keep the noise level to a minimum. This is the number one rule in an open plan environment. Don’t raise your voice during in-person conversations or whilst on the telephone. Take conversations (especially extended ones) away from the work area. If music helps you work, listen with headphones.
Pongtastic? Keep the smell level to a minimum. Of course it is up to you what you choose to eat, but remember that foods with strong smells, such as fish, eggs, oranges etc can make colleagues a little uncomfortable. Keep perfumes or after shaves to a minimum as well as pungent air fresheners. On the other end of the scale, nobody wants to sit next to someone who hasn't washed for a while....
Can't Find It: Keep your desk tidy. A disorganised and untidy desk is distracting and unprofessional. Apart from being an eyesore for others who share your space, clutter can be stressful. An open space might mean you have to forgo your own storage space, but there are other ways to stay organised. You should treat your work station as if it were a hot desk - at a moment's notice someone else could jump into your space and have the ability to work there.
Add Doors: Keep personal spatial barriers. Just because everyone is sitting out in the open it doesn’t follow that everyone is available at all times. People are under deadlines and are trying to focus. Imagine that there are office doors between people, and don’t just approach somebody for conversation (work related or otherwise) without first ask whether he or she is available.
Outside Your Box: Keep communal spaces in mind. Working in an open office requires you to share more than just space. There are printers and scanners; waste receptacles and drinks machines; kitchen areas and lights. Don't leave it to "someone else" when the paper needs refilling, the ink needs changing, the lights need to go out or the bin is overflowing. Don't leave piles of washing up in the sink, or the coffee pot on when it's empty. Be the kind of office worker that you would like to work alongside.
20sixltd can help optimise your current office space or assist in a total redesign - please get in touch to see how we can help you to make the most of the work space that you have.