Maintaining a personal workspace in an open-plan office

By Greg Bell

Open-plan offices were designed to create a collaborative and productive atmosphere in the workplace, moving beyond the cubicle-stuffed spaces of yesteryear. While many open plan offices have great benefits, like any shared space, they come with their own challenges. Here are our tips for maintaining a personal workspace in your Gold Coast commercial property.

1. If in doubt, tune out

While having company in the office is good in boosting morale, listening to everyone tapping away at their keyboards is distracting for some. Invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to tune out excess noise. If you're not the kind of person who can work while listening to your favourite songs or go-to playlist, you might find natural ambience or gentle instrumentals are both immersive and motivating. Music is a great way to get your eyes away from the clock, making the day move along faster.

It's important to remember that tuning out is a two way street – if you're in need of quiet time to get your work done, your coworkers are most likely in the same boat. Make sure you aren't providing too much of a distraction with your music – if it's too loud or your desk dance moves are too vigorous, they'll get distracted and potentially irritated. 

2. Use plants to your advantage

In many open plan offices, you probably won't get your own private cubicle to work in. However, that doesn't mean you can't personalise your workspace. Having personal items at your desk can make a space feel like it belongs to you, with plants in particular providing many advantages. Having a few leafy fronds at your desk can create an illusion of a wall separating you and your co-workers. As an added benefit, having plants in the office can promote productivity.

3. Set boundaries

At the end of the day, you need to create a space where you work to the best of your ability and complete your daily tasks. In order to achieve this space, you may need to implement some boundaries between yourself and your coworkers. If the personal items of your coworker keep crawling over onto your desk, this can feel distracting and invasive.

If your company doesn't already have an existing code of conduct, perhaps come to an agreement with the people in your workspace about boundaries and respecting each other's need to concentrate. This might mean designating a couple of hours to focused work, or ensuring that personal items remain in the correct spaces.

If you're looking for a new Gold Coast commercial property for your business, reach out to the experts at Ray White Surfers Paradise.

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