Privacy, at an office, is hard to obtain. Dozens of distractions can hit you at any moment. Maybe you’ll get pulled into a quick meeting, have a manager breathing down your neck, or colleagues that want to start a conversation as you’re beginning to hit your “flow.” 

The concept of a traditional workplace structure has proved to be broken. The current state of affairs has taught corporations that a person doesn’t necessarily have to be present to be productive. 

It’s been proven (again) that autonomy is one of the most effective ways to get workers engaged and focused on their tasks. With workplaces adapting to the new norms, and people starting to prove that they can be productive away from the office, it opens up a new conversation — Can autonomy and flexible arrangements be a long-term solution? And can employees have a sense of privacy within those offices? Here are some of the ways different work arrangements can assure privacy and productivity.

The Case for Telecommuting 

A quick definition of Telecommuting: it’s an employment arrangement where employees work outside of the employer’s office. Basically, allowing employees to work remotely from their office, coffee shops, there are even stories of people working out of an RV while traveling the country

These employees typically visit their company’s main office occasionally for important meetings and any kind of company-wide gathering. Of course, there are arrangements where the individuals spend half the time outside of the office and the rest on-site.

Some of the pros: it gives people the flexibility to work under their terms at a location that ensures privacy and productivity. Also worth mentioning that it saves the company a lot of money, and overall it makes the employee satisfied. The con, it can lead to more distractions — especially in high-volume locations like a coffee shop or at a bar.  

At the end of the day, if a company has stellar project managers that can hold their employees accountable for completing their work and meeting their deadlines. 

The Case for Remote Work / Working From Home

Remote work, like telecommuting, is working outside of the office — often, it’s working from a home office. There are plenty of entirely remote companies, which means that all of their employers are working from home. 

Going remote isn’t for everyone, and while it may sound appealing, there are some cons that can hurt employees without the discipline of having a work routine. So, if someone is new to being remote, they should have some guidance from a savvy remote employee or leader. 

Things to be wary of include: not knowing how to communicate with others, a bit of latency at a meeting, tracking productivity and tasks completed, and not having a work-life balance. 

Though working from home might do a great job of keeping people their house, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to be able to separate church from state. 

It’s not all that bad, though. Working from home can be more productive, for both work and personal life. The ability to set a routine can allow people to manage tasks efficiently and make their schedules so they can complete both personal tasks and work tasks throughout the day. 

If you choose to try remote, we’d strongly recommend, starting slowly instead and giving out remote work handbooks (like this), to make sure that it’s a seamless transition. 

The Case for Moving Employees to a Shared Office Space 

Coworking spaces have been getting massive adoption in the past few years, with so many unique spaces and players coming out in the market, it’s become a way for a business to reach new communities and ease commutes for employees (at least in metropolitan areas). 

These spaces allow individuals to work quietly while still having the ability to work in an office setting. Earlier, when I gave the example of too many distractions being brought on by coworkers, this is one of the downsides of having everyone in the same building. 

In a lax, office environment, members have the option to strike up a conversation, have networking opportunities, and sometimes generate new business/sales. These spaces types of spaces are usually cost-effective and provide everything for their members, so it pretty much feels like staying at a high-end hotel that just so happens to be an office. So privacy and productivity are a matter of how much the employee wants to work on it.

PRIVACY IN A SHARED SPACE, HOW?

A coworking space can provide amenities that can create a comfortable work experience. Giving employees the autonomy to come and go to a space as they please will allow them to have what experts call “work-life integration.” 

For those that aren’t familiar with the term, here’s a quick definition: Work/Life Integration instead is an approach that creates more synergies between all areas that define “life”: work, home/family, community, personal well-being, and health.

However, to reach peak productivity at a shared office, the space has to be designed so that it encourages privacy (when a member needs it). Some spaces offer dedicated desks in an open area that have dividers to give a sense of privacy. Others will provide private work stations or temporary rooms where they can let their creative juices flow freely. 

Some coworking spaces offer small private offices that can be used for 1-2 people. Though it’s a bit more money, it ensures that individual/s will have a secluded spot to work out of, if they feel that the common area feels too hectic. 

Interested In a Small Private Office? 

Our intelligently-designed office enables members to be productive while still creating a social (but safe!) environment. Schedule a tour by emailing us at info@mindscowork.com