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Maximizing Focus in the Workplace: The Role of Office Design and Layout

Considering the effect of the physical environment on concentration and efficiency is crucial. The office layout, design, and redefined spaces like phone booths and nooks significantly impact helping employees focus. A well-designed office space can cater to when uninterrupted work is essential. Here is how a well-thought-out office space can help in these situations.

Creating Focus-Friendly Zones in the Office

In any office, there are times when deadlines loom, and the need for deep, focused work becomes paramount. Whether it’s the completion of a time-sensitive document or a confidential call with a client, the design and layout of an office can significantly contribute to an employee's ability to concentrate and keep focused.

Private Nooks for Concentrated Tasks

For tasks that require maximum concentration, private nooks can be invaluable. These small, enclosed areas are furnished minimally with a desk and ergonomic chair designed to minimize distractions. Acoustic panels can line these spaces, ensuring that outside noise is absorbed and conversations remain private. Adjustable lighting can also be integrated to customize brightness, reducing eye strain and creating a conducive environment for focused work.

Phone Booths for Confidential Conversations

Phone booths are a modern solution to the open-plan office's lack of privacy. These booths are soundproofed enclosures perfect for making private calls or participating in video conferences without the fear of being overheard. They should have comfortable seating, a small work surface, and connectivity options for various devices. Using glass can maintain a sense of openness while providing the necessary seclusion.

Flexible Workstations for Adaptable Layouts

Flexibility in the office layout can foster collaboration and solo work all in setting. Workstations with movable partitions allow employees to create temporary private spaces, or shift around to work with colleagues as needed. Including standing desk options and communal breakout areas for quick discussions can reduce the noise around dedicated work zones.

Strategic Design Elements for Enhanced Focus

Several design elements can be strategically implemented to enhance focus. For example, color psychology can influence mood and attention; blue hues stimulate the mind, while green can create a calming atmosphere. Biophilic design elements, like plant installations, can reduce stress and promote well-being, indirectly improving concentration.

The office should be a dynamic space that accommodates various work needs, including the need for focus or brainstorming sessions. By integrating private nooks, phone booths, flexible workstations, and strategic design elements, an office layout can significantly influence employees' productivity and ability to get work done efficiently. Employers should consider these design strategies to create an environment that fosters collaboration and supports individual work demands.

Soma as a Solution

In the early days of Soma, our offices were designed with only desks and meeting rooms. Conversations with colleagues were easily sparked, leading to great discussions, but sometimes they turned into lengthy debates, which could be challenging when there were tasks to complete within a limited timeframe. We often felt the need for some solitude to work undisturbed, but there was no designated space for it. Therefore, we decided to redefine the concept of office space and redesigned our layout. We came up with the 'POD' - a space designed for moments when focus is paramount. The POD is made of glass, which allows visibility and signals to others that you are engrossed in solitary, concentrated work. The honeycomb design of the PODs enables multiple units to be installed in small spaces, utilizing every nook and cranny of the office to enhance overall productivity. This innovative solution has become a staple for when concentration is key, promising an uplift in our collective output.

Over the past two plus years, Soma has been through various trials and errors to ensure that the behaviors and communication methods from existing offline offices can be implemented in Soma as closely to reality as possible through the actual usage experiences of over 10,000 employee users in more than 450 companies. Currently, Soma offices have various spaces for different purposes - pods for focus work, hot desks for spontaneous meetings, a pantry and sofa lounge for casual conversations, private meeting rooms for intensive or sensitive meetings, etc.

Soma offers the best of both worlds: the spontaneity and connectivity of an office environment and the freedom to work from any corner of the globe. This innovative approach narrows the divide between remote work and face-to-face collaboration, redefining the workplace for the future of work.


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