Designing a Quiet Space for Your Office

In an age of constant connectivity and communication, it’s easy to overlook the importance of quiet for a more balanced life. As businesses look for ways to promote collaboration, many make the mistake of forgoing focus areas in their office altogether. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate quiet spaces into your broader office design, this post will help you take the first steps to accomplishing that goal.

Start With Purpose

Quiet spaces can take a variety of forms. Before getting into the intricacies of design, it’s essential to clarify the purpose of a quiet area. Are you looking to give employees a general-purpose quiet space to get away from their desk throughout the day? Do you want to accommodate employees who need a designated place to pray or meditate throughout the day? Or should the space be used for completing focus-oriented work tasks? 

If you begin with a clear purpose for the space, planning becomes much more straightforward. Having designated quiet areas can add lasting value to your workspace, but achieving that goal requires thoughtful design and a specific purpose.

Ask Your Team

One great way to design a space that aligns with your employees’ needs and expectations is by sending out an anonymous poll to your team. With hard data, you can make design decisions that match what your employees want in a workspace. By polling your team, you can also send the message that your organization cares about their well-being and satisfaction.

Location Is Key

While this consideration may seem obvious to some, the effectiveness of a quiet space hinges on where it’s located in your building. If you want a quiet area to actually remain calm throughout the day, it needs to be oriented away from high-traffic areas like hallways, breakrooms, kitchens, and collaborative spaces. 

With this in mind, you also want to ensure that quiet spaces are easily accessible so as to encourage use throughout the day. Instead of tucked away in a pocket of the basement, using a room or area with plenty of natural light is ideal for designing a quiet area that employees actually want to use.

If you want a quiet area to actually remain calm throughout the day, it needs to be oriented away from high-traffic areas like hallways, breakrooms, kitchens, and collaborative spaces. 

Open or Closed?

Focus spaces generally work best when enclosed. Employees typically use quiet spaces to get away from office noise and chatter. Walls reduce the amount of noise that can pass through, giving you more flexibility as to where you can create a quiet environment. Features like [glass wall systems] can help you cultivate a peaceful atmosphere while still maintaining visibility.

However, if you’re looking to designate a larger quiet area, an open plan may be a more practical option. Just remember that the more people inhabiting a space, the louder it becomes, even when nobody’s talking.

Use Furniture to Define Space and Purpose

Comfortable chairs, private tables, and small lamps are perfect design elements for signaling that an area is intended for focus. By creating clear boundaries while encouraging comfort, you can ensure that quiet areas are used for their intended purpose. At the same time, employees will have the flexibility to use the space for their needs.

Portland’s Office Design Experts

If you’re interested in incorporating a designated quiet space into your office design, contact the experts at DESIGN+BUILD today. We’ll work with you to understand your team’s workflows and priorities, so you can take advantage of a workspace that aligns with their day-to-day needs.