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How to relax if you work in an open space?

Relentless mobile. New mail notifications. Silent mobile colleagues and notifications about their incoming messages. Constant conversations. How can you even work in this place?

The office layout, called open space, was originally designed to enhance team spirit and facilitate communication. But in the end, it turned out to be a place with a high level of noise, a complete lack of personal space, and a huge number of “digital” and “human” stimuli.

Several dozens of psychological studies have proven that the harm from an open office layout is still more than good: a high level of stress strained relationships with colleagues due to constant irritation, and a general decrease in job and agency tools satisfaction.

Noise is the main cause of complaints and inconveniences in open spaces. The reasons are quite serious – the constant buzz that reigns in an open office can undermine motivation. A study based on an experiment was published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Forty female office workers were exposed to “low noise” for three hours, simulating the normal sounds of an open office. The other group spent three hours in blissful silence. Both groups were then given puzzles that did not have a correct solution, but the subjects were not told this. Those employees who sat in silence did not stop trying to solve the puzzle longer, and those who were in a noisy room gave up much faster.

Looking at a modern open office (especially one with a lot of young professionals), you can find a fairly obvious remedy for annoying noise – music in the headphones. Despite conflicting opinions, there are benefits to headphones. Office noise reduces motivation, among other things, because we cannot control it. Therefore, music, also yoga, and yoga studio software that you like can increase motivation by keeping the situation under control.

The second subject of the complaint is the lack of personal space and privacy. Naturally, the original intent of the designers was different. They wanted to remove the walls in the literal and figurative sense of the word – the possibility of eye contact should stimulate more frequent conversations and the emergence of new ideas.

The idea is, of course, somewhat utopian. Scientists have found that conversations between employees in an open office do happen often, but they are usually short and superficial because there are too many extra ears around. Therefore, all the best ideas are discussed over coffee, during lunch, or during a walk.

The second reason for creating an open space office is mutual assistance. If there are no walls and barriers, then employees, in theory, should be more willing to help each other and seek help. Yes, for those who ask for help, the idea works. But for those who provide this assistance, it only creates additional difficulties – after all, they also have their own affairs. And Swiss scientists proved this: those who asked for help did their job better, and for those who helped them, the level of productivity decreased, because every time they were asked for advice, they had to re-focus on the task, for example, Email Marketing Automation.

Firstly, there is a category of people who, in principle, work better in open spaces. You need to watch them. The peculiarity of their work lies not in excessive sociability and activity (as a rule, it is these people who are better able to tolerate noise, crowding, regular communications, etc.), but in a fairly high level of concentration. Despite all external factors, they manage to concentrate on the main thing.

There is also a second category of people – quiet, calm, living, as it were, in “their own world.” They are also concentrated, but unlike the first category, they “do not see or hear” anything around, also using apps for consultants. In addition to the ability to concentrate, you will need the second important quality – stress resistance. It will be required not only to withstand external factors but also elementary for simple daily work – making phone calls, negotiations in a common room, and feeling confident in a team of completely different people. This quality can also be cultivated. The second option – “fighting the regime” – is more complicated. An attempt to move to a quieter place (usually the corners of the hall), perhaps somehow close (partitions, although, as a rule, the entire hall is made in the same style). There is a category of people who still cannot work comfortably in a common room. If this is a very valuable employee, the authorities should solve this problem,” says Yury Kondratiev, a recruitment specialist at the UNITY personnel center.

The psychological attitude that you and your team and a team of colleagues and like-minded people are doing one thing greatly facilitates the perception of “irritants” of open space. And the formation of personal, private space is in your hands.

Final Thoughts

Replace the dull gray keyboard with snow-white backlit, pink, etc. Place a family photo or a photo from a fun corporate party in an elegant photo frame. Place a hero of your favorite comic book or an analog of your child’s favorite toy next to the computer. Spend your free time studying interesting topics, for example, the best WooCommerce plugins․ Attach stickers with invigorating quotes from business or art classics. If work allows you to sit with headphones, then treat yourself to creative headphones in the form of Mickey Mouse or with Swarovski crystals. Decorate your monitor desktop with magical wallpapers. Love flowers – grow a lemon or tangerine next to your work phone.

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