No socialising without privacy

October 2019 | News

After the disappearance of cubicles and excessive compartmentalisation in favour of the open space concept championed a few years ago, modern workspaces are once again demanding more private environments.

In addition to open areas for collaborative work, which enhance social interaction and the exchange of ideas, it is necessary to equip offices with rooms where meetings can be held, working in silence or hosting work teams that require greater concentration. Places where, depending on the task to be carried out at all times, workers feel comfortable and can be more productive.

Directly related to a better quality of life of employees, well-being at work begins by creating well-defined spaces that enable "escaping" the noise generated by excessively open environments. In fact, one of the most frequent problems in open-plan offices is how they hinder the ability to concentrate on an activity that requires a high degree of understanding and blocking out distractions.

Therefore, it is essential to avoid having endless open spaces, alternating them with informal rooms, small meeting areas or offices that reduce their scale to make them even more welcoming. Through solutions that combine private and shared aspects, offices should be conceived as flexible and versatile places, where intimate spaces coexist with others that are much more social.

Compared to traditional opaque partitions and their translucent and even transparent successors, now other elements are used to create space. Together with the most tangible, such as furniture or vegetation, there are other, a priori, 'invisible' ones that coexist but that are no less important, such as lighting, acoustic and thermal comfort, or technology.

Privacy does not consist in building walls, but in controlling internal and external stimuli, depending on the task to be carried out. There are many and diverse solutions: from glazed rooms, flexible separations or sound-absorbing spaces that, without breaking visual continuity, provide the necessary privacy to be able to hold a meeting or make a telephone conversation; to movable surfaces and furniture that, by itself, delimits spaces without the need for complicated architectural interventions, or small spaces where typical backdrops are recreated that we could well find in a cafe or our own home.

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