Ever since the move to our new office building for the F12 Edmonton team, there has been a pretty serious change in work environment. It’s taken some time to adjust, and while there are definite upsides to working in an open office concept, there are always things to keep in mind when you’re joining the open office as a new employee, or simply moving into a new building like we did. Over the past while we have had to learn to be productive even when there are some clear signs of distraction right beside you. Here are some tips to help out your fellow co-worker if you’re currently working, or planning to work in an open office concept.
1. Focus on the good parts
While it may seem all doom and gloom about people having the ability to distract you for the entirety of the day, typically that won’t happen. While yes, that is going to happen more often than if everyone is in their own office, there are definite upsides that go along with it. The communication between team members is definitely better in an open office. You can just roll your chair over and have a quick chat. You can tune in on conversations that interest you, and just zone out the ones that don’t. One thing is certain, it is definitely more fun than sitting in an office all by yourself.
2. Don’t assume that everyone wants to talk at all times
If you are hoping to quickly walk over to your peer and ask him a question, perhaps make sure that they aren’t intently focused on something like typing an email, working on a project, or reading a document at the time you come by. Take a second and think about whether or not your question should be asked via an instant message, or perhaps an email instead. At F12 we try and abide by a policy that if a person has headphones on they are likely working and don’t want to be disturbed.
3. Make good use of small rooms for conversations
Do you have more than 2 people talking about something? Perhaps it’s time to move into a meeting room or the lunch room instead of standing next to all of your co-workers even if it is work related.
4. Don’t allow your personal device to be an office-wide distraction
Pretty much all of us have cell phones, laptops, or tablets that make noise when there is an email or text. Turning this on vibrate and even going so far as having a soft mat to set it on will help keep your co-workers on your good side instead of letting your phone ring at max volume while you’ve left for a drink.
5. It is okay to use a meeting room by yourself!
Feeling like you are working on something that needs an intense focus? Take a smaller meeting room with your laptop and get to work! It is great to have a dedicated room that is quiet for your needs while you get things done. Just keep in mind if someone else is doing this, they probably don’t want to be disturbed.