Time management and productivity expert Laura Stack says open concept office space may sound reasonable, but it does not take into account the potential for distractions that can actually reduce worker productivity.
Online PR News – 05-September-2012 – DENVER, Colorado, – DENVER, Colorado, September 4, 2012 – Most modern offices have adopted some form of open-concept workspace with a goal of encouraging collaboration and sociability. Time management and productivity expert Laura Stack says the concept may sound reasonable, but it does not take into account the potential for distractions that can actually reduce worker productivity. In her latest blog titled “Break Out of the Cube to Increase Employee Productivity,” Stack addresses the modern-day conundrum of the cubicle mazes and their impact on productivity.
Stack says that the open concept design puts office workers on display with few (if any) walls for privacy, resulting in an office environment in which employee interaction is inescapable—not a good backdrop for the productivity-minded.
According to Stack, companies with an open office environment may think that employees learn to adapt to the distractions of this type of environment—and they do to some extent— but not necessarily in a way that is beneficial to the company.
“Employee do fairly well by adopting actions that ‘distract the distractions,’ if you will,” Stack says. “By listening to ambient sound and wearing noise-reducing earphones, they’re doing what they can to reduce distractions.
“But just because they’ve adapted doesn’t mean they achieve peak performance on a regular basis.”
According to Stack, smart office designers and managers are recognizing the need for space that accommodates those who work best in an open work environment and providing alternatives for those who need more privacy to work undisturbed.
Since the open concept office first hit the workplace in 1960, it has become a mainstay in the majority of office spaces, and undoing this workplace culture is not an easy task. Stack offers some common-sense answers to creating a more private environment in an existing cube-based office that can be accomplished fairly easily and make a significant impact on office productivity.
When making changes to the office’s existing workplace set-up is not possible, Stack recommends considering last-ditch escape locations, such as public libraries and coffee shops, or trying telecommuting.
“Millions of people already work from their homes at least one day a week,” Stack says. “This provides the option of allowing ‘lone geniuses’ to create workspaces in known comfort zones where they don’t have to deal with most of the distractions of the typical office.”
In today’s testy economy, businesses must consider new ways to achieve maximum productivity if they hope to remain competitive. Changes in the environment can benefit the productivity of an individual, team, or the entire company. Stack advises management to remain flexible, consider approaches to benefit quiet-seekers, and improve concentration opportunities.
For more information on addressing an open concept workplace environment and its effect on workplace productivity, visit TheProductivityPro.com website, Email Laura@TheProductivityPro.com, or call 303-471-7401.
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “What to do When There’s Too Much to do” (2012); “SuperCompetent” (2010); “The Exhaustion Cure” (2008); “Find More Time” (2006); “Leave the Office Earlier” (2004). The 2011-2012 President of the National Speakers Association and recipient of the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, Stack has served as a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, Xerox, and Office Depot and is the creator of The Productivity Pro® planner by Day-Timer. Widely regarded as one of the leading experts in the field of employee productivity and workplace issues, Stack has been featured nationally on the CBS Early Show and CNN, and in USA Today and the New York Times.