How to Create an Office space for All Personality Types
Any kind of business requires a team with a diverse skill set in order to be successful. With a variety of skills comes a variety of personality types. Your marketing person might be the out-going open-book type. Your coding department might be a rag-tag team of silent and introverted folks. In todayâ€™s real estate market, affording the spacious, light-filled office space of our fantasies is a pipe dream for most companies. Office space is getting more expensive and most businesses are forced to inhabit small spaces that might not be able to accommodate every kind of personality type. However, there are make-shift methods to create environments that do cater to the high-strung types, the quiet souls, and the blabber mouths.
Although open-plan workspaces encourage and foster collaboration, they can also be highly distracting environments. Try having a serious phone call in an open floor plan space, and youâ€™ll see how incredibly hard it is to focus on the conversation. Despite all the benefits of an open-floor plan office, there needs to be options for other workrooms.
“In my experience, what needs to happen is a layered approach, creating different settings or zones, because it’s never one-size-fits-all,” says One Workplace design consultant John Ferrigan. “There need to be spaces for those people who really need quiet to focus, whether they just find it easier to work or they’re more of an introvert. We need to provide spaces where everyone in the company, regardless of personality or role, will feel comfortable.”
In order to figure out what kind of â€ślayersâ€ť your office needs, you need to do some introspective thinking on what your companyâ€™s culture goals are, and how they align with your overall vision and mission. Do you want more collaboration between different departments? Is your company looking for a different and new marketing approach? What demographics does your product or services appeal to? Answering these questions can help you then design the office layout that will appeal to everyone on your staff.
When youâ€™ve designated isolated spaces for workers to get solo work done, itâ€™s important to come up with rules for these rooms. Whether you implement a rotational schedule or a sign-up sheet, it needs to be clear to all staff who can use the private spaces and when. Thereâ€™s nothing worse than unnecessary conflict.
Everyone might be working on the same project, but each person has his or her own agenda. If youâ€™re deep in the work groove and donâ€™t want to be disturbed, try some ear-phones that say â€śDO NOT DISTRUBâ€ť on the sides. Put notes on your Gchat status to let others know what youâ€™re up to and whether or not youâ€™re available to socialize.
Ferrigan recommends that management also spend some time out on the main floor. “Time and again, we’ll hear from executives who led by example, who came out of their officeâ€”some of them want to, some of them don’tâ€”but even the ones that don’t want to, once they’ve come out of the office, they’ll say, ‘Wow. I’ve learned more about my own company in the last three weeks than I did in the past three years in my private office,'” he says.