The Co-Working Trend: How Office Interior Design Impacts Employee Dynamics

We all have different personalities, which most companies see as a unique advantage. The more diverse, the more creative, right?

The co-working trend is a prime example of how offices are embracing diversity, but it hasn’t been all good news for employees. Some like to work together, while others need their own space to do their best work.

Now that most offices are barrier-free zones, how can different personalities get along being in such close proximity to each other?

Open Office Designs are Toxic to Employee Health

One of the biggest revelations about the open office interior design is its impact on employee health. Diseases are more easily spread when everyone is working in the same room. A single sneeze can send germs flying 19-26 feet, impacting dozens of workers along the way.

In a more reptilian sense, having your back turned while working puts your hormones into overdrive. Your brain has millions of years of DNA built into it, and having yourself constantly on guard sends your cortisol levels skyrocketing, which can lead to weight gain, stress, and lower immunity.

They’re Not Suited for More than Half the Population

More than half of people classify themselves as introverts, with more than a quarter of those being “very introverted.” Introverts don’t want to work in close proximity to others. They do their best job when they’re alone and can focus without having to engage in conversation and wonder if someone is scrutinizing their every move.

In turn, this leads to increased anxiety levels that are the exact opposite of productive.

They Create Hostile Relationships Between Employees

Chatty Cathy won’t get off her cell phone. Coughing Carl is clearing his throat every five minutes right next to you. And Jack the Jock and Football Philip won’t stop talking about last night’s big game.

And then your boss wonders why you haven’t finished your work.

The more fellow co-workers distract you, the more miserable office life can be. All you want to do is focus on your work, but the people around you are making it difficult. Yes, you can complain to your boss, but then you end up with a nickname like Snitching Susan and no one wants to work with you anymore.

The struggle is real.

Employers are Finally Waking Up to These Realizations

The only good thing in the conversations surrounding the open office design is that studies have been done to reveal its negative impact on employee health, productivity, and company well-being. Employers are finally starting to realize that open designs don’t always work the way they expect them to, which is why many of them are taking steps to mitigate their effects.

One solution that is gaining steam is adding pop-up office boxes or soundproof phone booths that offer privacy and quiet. Employees can use these micro-offices to make phone calls away from the office chatter, or even work for extended periods of time without interruption.

Take a look at our office phone booths and discover how you can use them to improve your office dynamics!