Quiet Spaces to Work In
Quiet Spaces to Work In
Post written by Paragon Interiors   June 15, 2018

Mornings can be chaotic. You come into the office with a long list of things to do for the week and an inbox full of emails to respond to. The open plan is a cacophony of noise, with amped colleagues excitedly sharing their various weekend exploits. Wouldn’t it be great if you could move away from hearing about the latest disastrous Tinder date of a colleague hell-bent on finding love or the new Starbucks in Sandton City, into a quiet zone where you can concentrate on the proposal you need to prepare?

Open plan is great for companies who need easy communication and collaboration between departments and key players. However, there is some work that requires our intense concentration without interruptions and distractions. With people walking around the office and light chatter going on, it’s sometimes hard to focus. Over 90% of workers say they need quiet spaces to perform, however only 40% claim to have these spaces available to them (Steelcase, n.d.). Therefore, it’s important for your office space to provide a place where you can take a break from the noise.

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An office culture that allows choice

It’s important for management to provide a culture of trust and with it the freedom of choice to work in different spaces for different tasks. Providing an environment free from interruptions for focus work, is essential. These rooms are to be shared and should not be occupied by the same person for more than 2 hours at a time.

Choice and control over the environment

Quiet rooms should provide individual temperature control as well as adjustable lighting for comfort. Comfortable seating must provide ergonomic support for work tasks and be easily adjustable for the user. Sometimes quiet rooms are required for contemplative work or the reading of documents, and a more relaxed type of chair is required, – perhaps even with a footstool!

Acoustic requirements and natural light

To reduce distractions, quiet spaces should be enclosed with acoustic materials to absorb sound and to ‘shield’ the space off from external sound. Taking dry wall through the ceiling to the soffit, prevents sound travelling from outside, through the ceiling and into the room. First choice is to have a room with a window to the outside as people prefer to see natural light. If this is not possible, use glazing panels to let light in and double glazing to keep the sound out. It is also great to have a solid door to contribute to sound control.

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Quiet Spaces

Quiet spaces are areas set aside for a quiet time but are not necessarily enclosed. Soft seating is often chosen as a break from the normal task chair and these spaces are generally situated in quieter areas in the office. Soft, absorbent materials should be used with high backs on chairs that serve some acoustic property but it is important to note that these areas are not completely shielded off from sound. These areas should have as minimal optical distractions as possible. Keeping this type of seating option out of high traffic areas is important. Even a corner nook or a place under a staircase can suffice when short of space.

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Interesting & stimulating spaces

Just because the room or area may be small and for short term use only, doesn’t mean that they need to be dull and uninteresting. The interiors can be creative or fun with lovely textures, graphics or murals but take care not to use a wall finish that would create optical movement or distraction. Some wallpapers that have high contrasting colours often appear to have a moving pattern, an optical illusion that can be disturbing to some.

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At Paragon Interiors we know the importance of having space away from the open plan that can be used for focus intensive work. We have created quiet spaces for our clients and have witnessed the benefits first hand. Contact us today to find out how we a create a space for you that is tailored to your specific requirements.

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Steelcase. (n.d.). Susan Cain Quiet Spaces . Retrieved from Steelcase: https://www.steelcase.com/quiet-spaces/#insights