How to use partitions in an open plan office

Partitions have been a mainstay of office design since the rise of office fitouts. Creating individually compartmentalised workspaces has proven fruitful in creating a culture of success and efficiency in the workplace. However, as offices and businesses have continued to become more agile – and communication-focused – partitions have virtually disappeared in the modern open plan office. This is good for when open communication is required, but can hinder the efficiency and quality of the individual work produced in a workspace. Finding a workplace partition that effectively balances these two sides of the coin is the ultimate ideal in a modern corporate environment.

Below are a few tips on how and when to utilise partitions in your open plan office to find such a balance. This is best done through structuring your office fitout with different spaces designed for specific levels of partition.

Concentration spaces

As the name would suggest, these are spaces within your office intended for deep concentration, with limited communication and distraction. This would be best achieved through a strong presence of partitions in the area, creating compartmentalised workspaces where your employees can get stuck into their work.

Communication spaces

Much the opposite of the above, these spaces should be created with the intention of encouraging open and free communication in the office. Located away from the concentration spaces, these areas are open plan – with little to no partitions – to promote engagement within the team at your workspace. Having these spaces present in your workspace would ensure that, when collaboration is needed, it is done so in an area that doesn’t affect the work of those who need some extra concentration.

Spaces with agile partitions

Acting as a midpoint between the two space ideas above, is a third space that serves to bridge the gap. The presence of partitions in this space would not be as forced, but not as unnoticeable either. These spaces would have partitions that can be moved and adapted to suit the needs of that space at any particular time. Partitions on wheels that can be moved around the space are particularly useful in this idea, as the space can become wholly compartmentalised, or wholly open, in a matter of minutes.

For a modern office space, it is important to consider the needs of your specific business, but often a combination of the three above spaces is a perfect fit for a forward-thinking corporation. This way you have an ever-moving partition design that is always perfectly suited to the specific needs of your office at any given time.