You Can’t Have Collaboration If You Can’t Concentrate


This generation has really embraced the open floor office space. It’s got a certain buzz and energy to it that closed off offices just can’t provide. It’s been in hopes of providing easier collaboration, accountability, trusting relationships, and even help save on the cost of space and drastic remodeling.

With all big changes there are many improvements, but also you have to deal with consequences of your decision. Not everyone has the ability to tune out distractions when they are happening across the floor, or in the cube right next to them.

TLNT gives us some shocking statistics on how we are negatively affected with open office spaces:

  • It reduces my productivity: 66 percent;
  • It reduces my efficiency: 77 percent;
  • I make more mistakes: 41 percent;
  • It creates more stress: 80 percent;
  • It diminishes my job satisfaction: 60 percent.

Do you feel like you and your teams are put in that position of struggle? There are a couple of things you should consider before, during, and after these major company and culture changes.

  1. Consider the compromise. If you’re a firm with extreme confidential information, you may need more privacy. If you have a design firm, that needs to constantly have eyes on what each other is doing to make sure the brand comes together, open floors are definitely appropriate.
  2. Know body language. Some of your quieter staff have a harder time speaking up when it’s not the best time to approach them. Warn your more outspoken team members to be aware of personal space—no one wants their workflow to be interrupted and to lose important time.
  3. Ask around. Survey, by conversation, with your people about how the set up is/will work for them. Some may have valid suggestions that are not costly but could really give a little more privacy and needed space to work efficiently.

Don’t let the volume of your decisions drown out what your people need. Paying attention to how people are affected will help you provide the best environment possible—people may love the new open floor!



Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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