Colleagues who are loud, laughing and talking out loud, continuous movements and visual distractions, lack of intimacy… working in an open area is sometimes a real ordeal. Here are some tips to concentrate successfully in an open area environment.
1. Think collectively
An initial solution to find an optimal work environment consists of proposing an informal meeting with your colleagues. Everyone can express their needs and irritants, and as a team establish a few basic rules of respect to improve the collective quality of life: reducing the sound level of conversations, setting time slots for silence, stopping chatting in the aisle, going over to a colleague instead of calling someone at the other end of the office, activating call forwarding in case of absence, leaving the open area for personal calls, etc.
2. Rearranging the common area
With your superiors, a few simple arrangements can be made. For example, define some spaces dedicated to discussions. One or two small glassed-in and enclosed offices will serve for discussions with a customer, supplier or manager. And consider adding removable partitions, quiet areas set aside for breaks and relaxation. See also office layouts that promote collaboration.
3. Isolate yourself from ambient noise
Wearing headphones or a noise reducing headset can often restore the calm needed to carry out your tasks. Some websites or applications allow you to immerse yourself in a helping sound environment. However, care must be taken not to completely cut yourself off from others and enable a minimum level of interaction.
4. Creating your personal space
A side lamp creates an atmosphere and delimits a little more space. Personal objects can create an actual or symbolic separation between you and your neighbour (plants, files, books, etc.) and cut off sources of visual distraction. This helps concentrate successfully in an open area environment.
5. Take real breaks
In general, they promote a reduction in stress and increase work efficiency. The benefits of changing air, going for a walk and stretching are well known.
6. Practise your relational qualities
Improving your well-being at work is not reduced by systematic isolation. It is essential to participate in building a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere: listening actively to others, knowing how to manage your emotions, being tactful and attentive to your colleagues, etc. Meeting regularly for a team lunch (without talking about work), celebrating an anniversary or a success also contribute to maintaining a friendly and stimulating atmosphere.