When it comes to hiring top talent, and keeping them happy – there’s nothing more important than a well designed commercial office space. Well designed office interior spaces are becoming more bright and open, and the top workers are starting younger.
We’re beginning to see a lot more modern and open workspaces and offices in Toronto, and the Greater Toronto Area today. This means, a lot more open and airy environments, exposed ceilings, and noise! Today’s commercial interior designers are being tasked more with moving away from enclosed office layouts. Knocking down walls and tearing out the classic cubicles of the 20th century. We’re seeing more open offices and ‘collaborative spaces’. To add, there’s a lot more glass walls to reduce divisions between workspaces. The result of these changes and creating an open office environment is noise. There’s a few solutions to solve them.
We Love the Open Office Space Design and the Benefits to Them!
Open office workspaces offer a powerful boost in building company culture, and happy employees. There’s also lots of benefits to prospective employees in the hiring process. The impression of a buzzing and active workspace is usually a positive one. As a result, open office interiors offer many important benefits:
- To build an open office space there’s usually some cost saving involved. Open offices are typically less expensive to build due to needing less walls and infrastructure than a traditional office space or furniture costs in building cubicles. Being able to fit more workers in the same amount of square-footage in Toronto’s Expensive Real Estate market, this has a big effect.
- The more open and airy the environment the less need for complex lighting and HVAC systems. This also helps with natural light and carries light through the area better, through windows or open air.
- Open Office Plans always help foster collaboration and teamwork amongst departments, as there isn’t the level of friction required to get up and visit your cubicle neighbours. The draw back to this is conversations can be heard in the open, so there is always an increased level of noise involved.
- Open Offices are sought after by younger, top talent. As a result, having bright, fun, and eclectic open office is what younger workers are looking for considering employment opportunities.
While the commercial office designs that are open have these benefits of openness and brightness, there are some drawbacks such as noise, privacy, and overall acoustics. There’s some simple solutions to consider when designing building out these amazing spaces.
Noise Control in the Open Office Environment
Finding a happy medium in all things design is a great philosophy to work off of. Open commercial interiors do have some flaws, and studies show that sound privacy is important and is a common issue. There’s been other studies showing that time lost to disruption from sound levels could be up to 1.5 hours a day. We believe, an open office design shouldn’t have these flaws. There’s solutions out there to solve the noisy office neighbour and loud equipment. Designing with sound and acoustics in mind means creating:
- Acoustical noise cancelling materials and panels in strategically placed locations
- Sound Masking devices, such as white noise machines
- Creating specific break out, collaborative areas for teams to sit down in privacy without disturbing the whole area.
- The modern day phone booth! Acoustically treated, privacy booths for important phone calls. This means no more running into the hallway or outside for that personal or business call!
Creating break out privacy spaces is the perfect way to design a space for businesses with multiple teams. In offices where the collaborative culture already exists, adding acoustical sound dampening materials to slow down sound waves is a great way to make a change without a full re-design. All of these pieces can be coupled together to build the most productive office design possible when it comes to sound.
At Sensyst – The Business Interiors Group, creating sensible systems in the premium office designs is our name. For the best office design and fit out services give us a call for Toronto Office Design.