Balancing Privacy with Collaboration in the Office

August 29, 2019 | by: James

Balancing Privacy with Collaboration in the Office

Giving workers their own private space can empower them and make them feel appreciated, but at the same time positioning a worker too far from the rest of the team can isolate them and make collaboration difficult. When designing a workspace it is important to find a good balance between personal privacy and accessibility.

A workspace should be open enough that you can join in on spontaneous problem-solving and brainstorming but closed enough that you can focus on important projects when needed. There should be enough sound dampening that you can make phone calls without the entire office hearing, as well you should be shielded from excessive noise in the office, such as other people’s phone calls and printers.

It’s a good idea to allow co-workers or customers to see if you’re busy and approach you when you’re not. This can greatly improve productivity as it minimizes the time people need to wait for an answer before moving forward on their task.

Management will want to be able to see at a glance if employees are at their desk, but employees shouldn’t feel like someone is watching over their shoulder as they work.

There are a few different approaches to achieving this fine balance. Open-concept bench-desk systems have been a popular way to get many workers in a small space while still having a degree of privacy. Now with new beam-wall systems like Global’s Intelli Beam, power and sound dampening can be incorporated into open plan environments.

Cubicles might still be needed in some situations. Panel systems that offer a range of heights, stacked panels and options for clear glazed panels allows you to customize for the exact right level of privacy balance.

When closed-in offices are unavoidable, open lounge or ‘flex-space’ areas can offer an escape for workers to get away from their desk and spend some time with the team.

If you want some help finding that right balance between separation and collaboration in the office, feel free to talk to one of Buy Rite’s designers. We can help you sort though a range of options that will help you set up your perfect workspace. Call us at 604-999-7483 or email us at


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