A recent study has identified the three main types of work activity that take place: focused work (70%), collaboration (23%), and socialising (7%). These different behaviours require different ‘Work Zones’. A focused zone requires a quiet, naturally lit, temperate environment that has minimal distraction; a collaborative zone needs a space conducive to loud talking, discussion, and even some passionate yelling.
Rather than an open-plan office where staff have their own desks, they should be working in a free moving system where they can go sit in the right zone for the type of work activity they are about to take part it in.
To create these zones, visual and acoustic barriers need to identify a definitive line between the zones. Acoustically, the focus zone needs to have high absorption. However, a collaborative zone needs to manage a high noise level while eliminating sound transfer, so staff members can work loud without disrupting others. The social zone also requires complete sound absorption as to not affect other areas.