hasbuilt news

Designing for Privacy & Collaboration

Designing for Privacy & Collaboration

Jen Rani Cayabya – Project Consultant


The open plan office is the most commonly seen form of workplace design but is also the most maligned. Companies have been trying for decades to find the balance between collective and private needs within a workspace, so what steps can you take?


Tailor your design to the work

We believe that most successful workspaces enable and empower team members to choose where and how they get their jobs done. Before redesigning your office space, it’s important to consider the needs of your employees and their work. Consider the behaviours you would like to encourage and those that already exist. Allocate space based on the percentage of time you expect employees to spend on individual versus team, collaborative or creative work. This will allow a more functional design and prevent brainstorms or loud meetings occurring where other employees are trying to concentrate or isolate themselves.


Enclosed spaces for all

A rare commodity, enclosed spaces should be designed and allocated on a needs basis, not simply given to senior managers while employees fight over the few meeting rooms or collaboration areas. Enclosed spaces can be laid out either directly next to standard work locations (like isolation ‘islands’) allowing quick and easy transitions or can be entire spaces or floors accommodating quiet or concentration zones. It really depends on your team’s needs and how you enable them to work at their best.


Environmental control through design

Whether being used for collaborative or private work, meeting rooms are more effective when they allow users to control stimulation, such as outside noise and visual interruptions. A growing trend towards greater transparency within offices has led to more glass walls, but this can lead to the unpleasant feeling of working ‘in a fishbowl’. Less of an issue for a big team gathering or workshop, but if privacy is required, a simple band of frosted glass can greatly improve the feeling of privacy, while switchable glass delivers optimum privacy control.


Altering to work requirements

Different sized work areas can be temporarily created using moveable or flexible wall options that can be altered to adapt to space and work requirements. Correctly implemented, this flexibility enables the creation of large areas for collaborative work, team or company meetings or event spaces, whilst also offering the option of smaller, more private rooms.


The open plan office is neither inherently bad nor good. The key to balancing privacy vs. collaboration is to empower employees by giving them choices that offer them control over their work environment.


You might also be interested in

Office space
5 Steps to a Successful Commercial Fit-Out

The growth of online shopping has made a significant impact on the way customers interact with businesses. Add to this advancements in workplace technology which has driven a fundamental change in the way employees work.

Office space
Creating Unexpected Designs That Inspire

For many people, heading to the office is matter of course, an essential part of their lives that they wouldn’t do if they didn’t have to. For a lucky few, their workplace is a

Office space
What Approvals Are Required for Your Commercial Fit-out

Fitting out your new commercial space can be an exciting, yet challenging project to organise. It’s fundamental to keep in mind the various compliances and approvals you will require prior to beginning and throughout the duration of the fitout, whether your building is heritage listed or not.

Office space
4 Reasons Why Now is the Best Time for Your Office Renovation

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic affecting our nation in a multitude of ways, we have all had to adapt to the new environment and way of life. For many of us, it’s embracing the new work from home arrangements and initiatives.